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1 843-1 844. PAGES 

Missionary of the Free Church op Scotland . • 1-45 


Continuity of the Work 46-83 


1 844-1 849. 
Lord Hardinge's Administration. — "The Calcutta 

Review" f 84-111 



Death op Dr. Chalmers. — Tour through South India. 

— Home by the Ganges and Indus . . . 112-170 


Dr. Duff Organizing again ...... 171-222 


Moderator of the General Assembly. — Before the 

House of Lords' India Committee . • . 223-250 



In America and Canada. — Second Farewell to Chris- 
tendom . 251-306 



1 856-1 858. PAGES 

The Mutiny and the Native Church of India . . 307-354 


1 858-1863. 

Last Years in India 355-395 


1 864- 1 867. 
In South-East Africa.— The Missionary Propaganda . 396-423 



New Missions and the Results of Half a Century's 

Work ... 424-464 


Dr. Duff at Home . , . . . . 465-494 



Peacemaking 495-518 



Dying 519-542 

Index ..... 543-553 


Dr. Duff at Sixty Frontispiece. 

India . . To face page 127 

Lake Nyassa and South-East Africa. . , ., 460 






The Power of Youth. — Spiritual Independence and the People of 
Scotland. — Torpor of the Ministers for a century and a quarter. 
— Anecdotes from Dr. Duff's experience. — On Robert Burns. — 
Reproving an Officer for Profanity. — Sir Charles Napier. — Sir 
Robert Peel rebuked. — Duff's public silence on the Disruption 
Controversy. — Appeals from Dr. Brunton and Dr. Charles J. 
Brown. — All the Missionaries adhere to the Church of Scotland 
Free. — Dr. Duff's " Explanatory Statement.'' — A critical time. — 
The Disruption in Calcutta. — Dr. Simon Nicolson. — Messrs. 
Hawkins, M. Wylie and A. B. Mackintosh. — The Free Church 
in Calcutta. — Dr. Duff's four Lectures. — Lord Brougham and 
Gibbon. — Duff describes the Disruption. — Free Church resolves 
to extend Foreign Missions. — The Property Wrong. — Sympathy 
of all Evangelical Churches. — Duff's disinterestedness. — Opening 
of the General Assembly's Institution of the Free Church of 
Scotland. — A Professorship of Missions urged. 

"^TOT only is the world the heritage of the young, 
-^ as has been said. The young make the world 
what it is. Dr. Duff had really done his work in 
India when he was twenty-eight ; he had, apparently, 
completed its parallel side in Great Britain when he 
was thirty-three ; he had consolidated the whole sys- 

VOL. II. b 

2 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

tern, and he saw it bearing rare spiritual as well as 
moral and intellectual fruit before he was thirty-seven. 
So, in the same field of reformation, Luther and 
Melanchthon in Germany, Pascal and Calvin in France, 
Wesley and Simeon in England, and Chalmers in 
Scotland had sowed the seed and reaped the early 
harvests while still within the age which Augustine 
pronounces the " culmen " and Dante the "key of 
the arch" of life. Dr. Duff might have spent the 
rest of his career in quietly developing the principles 
and extending the machinery of his system on its 
India and Scottish sides, but for two forces, in Church 
and State, which the shrewdest took long to foresee. 
His Kirk had to work its way back to the purity and 
spiritual independence of covenanting times — a pro- 
cess in which all the Churches of Europe are following 
it, from Italy and Germany to France and Ireland — 
and in so working it became broken into two. And the 
Afghan War was to prove only the first act in the 
prelude to the history of British India. That prelude 
closed in the Sepoy Mutiny. That history fairly 
began with the too rapid obliteration of the military 
and political system by which the old East India 
Company had brought the empire to the birth and 
had reared it into a vigorous childhood. 

Foreign Missions being of no ecclesiastical party 
but the privilege of all, we have seen how Dr. 
Duff, during his first visit to Scotland, had kept aloof 
from even the most vital controversies. To him, as 
charged with the conversion of a hundred and thirty 
millions of human beings, Whig or Tory, A 7 oluntary 
or State Churchman, even " Intrusionist " or " JSTon- 
Intrusionist " were of little account save in so far as 
they could promote or hinder his one object. Even 
in India, on his return in 1840, he was so silent 
regarding his relation to parties and the course he 


would follow if a rupture took place, that some 
doubted how he would act. In truth, the approaching 
cataclysm so weighed him down, in reference to its 
effects on his own mission, that he refrained from 
speech, in public, till the issue should be fairly put 
before him and his colleagues for decisive settlement. 
But not one of the clerical combatants in the thick of 
the fight knew its meaning, historical and spiritual, 
better than the missionary. His youth had been over- 
shadowed by the " cloud of witnesses." His heroes 
had ever been the men of the Covenant. His hatred 
was that of the patriot rather than of the priest, to 
the Stewarts who, down to the last act in Queen 
Anne's time, had robbed the Kirk and its people of 
spiritual freedom. He waited only for the right time, 
the time of duty to the Mission as well as to his 
principles, to declare himself with an energy and an 
uncompromising thoroughness, hardly equalled by the 
ecclesiastical leaders who headed the host of disrup- 
tion heroes on the memorable eighteenth day of May, 

But not only had the education of the Highland boy, 
under such a father and teacher as his, early fed his 
young life with the history of his Kirk, which is that 
of his country. In his three years' wanderings over 
every presbytery and almost every parish of Scotland, 
from the Shetland Isles to the Solway, he had become 
acquainted with the actual state of religious and social 
life in a way unknown to Chalmers or the young 
Guthrie, or the most experienced Lowlander of the 
time. To the highest test which can try a Christian 
or a Church, the Christ-like philanthropy of missions, 
he had jealously brought the Church of Scotland 
from 1834 to 1840, its ministers and people, its parties 
and their professions, its policy and aims. He thus 
learned, as no one else could, the wrong, religious 

4 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

and political, done to the country by the dishonest 
legislation of Queen Anne's advisers all through the 
eighteenth century, even to the Reform Act in the 
State and the Veto Law in the Kirk. And a happy 
experience taught him, and Chalmers through him, 
that the heart of the people was sound in spite of the 
torpor and retrogression of a century and a quarter, 
that the Scotsmen of 1834-43 were the true spiritual 
descendants of their fathers of the first and the 
second Reformation. This^ had been his experience 
of the ministers of the " moderate party," who had 
formed the majority in the Kirk down to the year 
1834 and who called in the civil courts to drive out 
the evangelical majority ten years after. 

Dr. Duff was wont to declare that, personally, he 
had received everywhere at their hands the most 
courteous and friendly treatment, with the two excep- 
tions of Peebles and Dunbar. Seeing that he kept 
his cause and himself aloof from parties, Moderates 
as well as Evangelicals invited him to their manses, 
placed their conveyances at his disposal, passed him 
on from presbytery to presbytery, and loyally obeyed 
the Assembly of 1835 in promoting meetings and 
subscriptions. The majority of the moderate minis- 
ters he found to be farmers and politicians, whose 
conversation was divided between agricultural talk 
and political criticism, " But," he once said, "I do 
not remember their volunteering any remarks on the 
vastly higher subject of the spiritual culture of the 
human mind, or the Georgics of the soul, as it might 
be called." In one case the moderator of the 
presbytery, having duly summoned a meeting on the 
market day, could not himself be found to preside 
until it was reported that he had been seen among the 
crowd gazing at the tricks of a vagrant mountebank. 
The one evangelical member of that body charged 


him with, the shameful forgetfulness, but the majority 
hushed up the proceedings at a time when the daily 
newspaper was unknown. In another case Dr. Duff 
happened to succeed, in the guest chamber of the 
manse, a minister who was notorious for Unitarian 
views. The parish was ringing with the story, how 
he had surprised all by first delivering a communion 
address surcharged with the evangelicalism of the 
Puritans, and then, when suddenly called to fill a 
vacant place in the long services, had preached a dis- 
course of the most repulsively cold heresy. On 
inquiry it was discovered that he had compiled from 
the " Marrowmen," whom he despised, an address 
suited to evangelical congregations, and which alone 
he was wont to speak on such occasions. 

But for reminiscences such as those of Dr. Duff it 
would be incredible to what extent not only hetero- 
doxy but profanity, intemperance, and other immo- 
rality found a place among the moderate ministers in 
rural districts, especially in the Highlands and islands 
to which public opinion never penetrated. Many of 
them, among themselves, avowed theological opinions 
contrary to the Confession of Faith, the contract on 
which they claimed to hold their livings. At the 
upper end of a long strath in the Highlands lived a 
parish minister who was scarcely ever known to be 
sober. Business took him frequently to the other 
end of the valley, where he had to pass a distillery. 
It was the frequent sport of the owner to tempt the 
poor wretch, and then, placing him on his pony with 
his head to the tail, send him back amid the derision 
of the whole people, a man supporting him on either 
side. Another parish was a preserve of smugglers, 
whose rendezvous was the kirk, where the little barrels 
of Highland whisky were concentrated before despatch 
to the south. The isolated spot was the terror of the 

6 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

gangers, for whom the hardy inhabitants, banded to- 
gether, were long more than a match. A new minister 
was presented to the parish, a man of great promise 
and considerable scholarship. His one weakness was 
a passion for the violin. Through that he fell so low, 
that when his parishioners assembled at the inn they 
sent for the minister to play to them, and even carried 
him off when well drunk to a house of doubtful repute 
where the revelry was continued. On one occasion he 
fell into the peat fire, where his limbs became so roasted 
that for six months he was laid aside and he was lamed 
for life. His brethren resented the scandal only by 
refusing to allow him to attend the presbytery dinner, 
and by denying him all help at communion seasons. 
Brooding over these insults, he resolved to adopt that 
form of retaliation which would be most disagreeable 
to colleagues some of whom differed from himself 
only by being greater hypocrites. He sent to the 
neighbouring cities for the most evangelical Gaelic 
ministers to assist him on fast and sacrament days. 
The result was that the smuggling parish became not 
only a new place, such as all the success of the excise 
could never have made it, but the centre of light to the 
whole presbytery. The people flocked from a great 
distance to hear the grand preaching in their own 
tongue. The drunkard's successor, appointed under the 
Veto Act, was a godly man, and when the disruption 
came the whole parish left the Established Church. 

When farther north still, Dr. Duff found himself the 
inhabitant of a room in the manse which was curiously 
stained. On asking an explanation he was told that, 
as the most secure place, the attics had long been the 
storehouse of the smugglers of Hollands and small 
sacks of salt. So soon as the brig appeared in the 
harbour of Stromness, with flying colours, the minister 
at the beginning of the century promptly went on 


board. Even if the day were Sunday he would go 
in the face of all the people, before or after doing 
pulpit duty ! The manse had been built for the pur- 
pose of receiving the contraband articles, which were 
hoisted up by a pulley swung to a hook projecting 
from a window in the high-pointed gable. The plaster 
of the roof below was saturated with salt, which ap- 
peared in moist weather. 

Dr. Duff's investigations in Ayrshire found results 
hardly more satisfactory than in the Highlands and the 
Scandinavian islands. His familiarity with the poems 
of Robert Burns, and knowledge of the use which had 
been made of their finer strains by the young Hindoo 
reformers of Bengal, led him to make very minute in- 
quiries of some of the older men who had had personal 
intercourse with the poet. They assured him that 
Burns was often blamed for caricaturing sacred things 
when, in truth, he was giving a most vivid description 
of sad reality. A man of Burns's pious training, 
knowledge of the Bible and exceeding acuteness, could 
not fail to be struck with the marked contrast between 
Christianity as expressed in the creed and in the life 
of a great body of the ministers and people. "Having 
thrown off the fear of man, and alas ! to some extent 
the fear of God," remarked Dr. Duff, " Robert Burns 
satirised this state of things in their gross literality 
with all faithfulness. Hence not a few who were 
godly men declared to me their conviction that the 
description given in * The Holy Fair ' of scenes at the 
administration of the Lord's Supper was not exagger- 
ated ; and the same was asserted of some of what 
were reckoned his more objectionable minor poems. 
Oh ! what these ministers have to answer for at the 
Day of Judgment. The mischief they did by lapsing 
into gross errors in doctrine, and more than loose 
practices in life, is incredible." To the end of his life 

8 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1843. 

Dr. Duff held this to be the true explanation, founding 
alike on his own recollections in the present cen- 
tury, and on those of older men as to that which 
preceded it. 

The mass of the common people, who did not turn 
for spiritual life to the seceding churches which now 
form the vigorous United Presbyterian Church, found 
it in the study of the Bible and of writers like Ruther- 
ford and Boston, Bunyan and Doddridge. But this 
degeneracy of the Kirk had affected the upper classes 
of society in a way incredible in these days of a 
healthy public opinion. The literature of the time, 
scanty though it be, reveals not a little of the truth. 
Dr. Duff met with this typical illustration of one 
form of the evil on a journey from Perth to Pit- 
lochrie by the Inverness coach. In the darkness he 
could not see them, but he could not help hearing 
the conversation of the three occupants whom he 
joined. The talk was of the Peninsular War, led by 
a Highland officer who had passed through its 
campaigns. The interest of the really striking infor- 
mation given by him was, however, marred by his 
habit of adding an oath to every two or three words, 
and not unfrequently by expressions of licentiousness 
as well as profanity. Should he interpose ? was a 
question long debated by Dr. Duff. Ignorant who his 
companions might be, and whether in a stage coach 
the end might not be worse than the beginning, he 
resolved to wait till daylight and the first stoppage. 
On arriving at Pitlochrie the young missionary asked 
the officer to speak to him privately for a moment on 
the road. Dr. Duff began by saying that he had been 
profoundly interested by many of the remarkable state- 
ments respecting the Peninsular War, a confession 
which seemed to gratify his companion. He could 
not, moreover, from the tone and tenor of their con- 


versation all the night, but come to the conclusion 
that the person who had given so much novel in- 
formation was, beyond question, a born gentleman. 
As a gentleman he must know that it was contrary 
to the ordinary rules of courtesy to say anything 
which, even unintentionally, might be very offensive 
to another. He, the officer, might have formed, in 
his youth, habits which were now contrary to the 
usages of polite society. One of these was what is 
ordinarily called profane swearing, which was at one 
time considered to give zest to earnest conversation. 
Dr. Duff, being an ordained minister of the Church of 
Scotland, was sure that the officer would excuse him 
for remarking that many of the words interspersed in 
the narratives of the war grated with something more 
than harshness on his ear, and for thus unburdening 
his own mind and conscience privately to him who had 
thoughtlessly used them. On this the officer took him 
by the hand, warmly thanked him for his delicacy and 
faithfulness, admitted that he had never looked on 
swearing in that light, and regretted that no one had 
before spoken to him in that way. Without commit- 
ting himself to a pledge on the subject he promised 
to ponder the gentle reproof. When, some time after- 
wards, Dr. Duff was at Kingussie manse on the way 
south from Inverness, he learned that his companion 
of that night was a well-known landholder of the 
neighbourhood, and that a somewhat sudden change in 
his habits of speech and church-going had attracted 
attention. We may add to this another illustration, 
of even greater boldness, on the part of the young assis- 
tant surgeon from Aberdeen, who was on Sir Charles 
Napier's staff in Sindh. His at first timid remonstrance 
with the Commander-in-Chief, whose constant com- 
panion he was officially forced to be for many weeks, 
led the veteran to overwhelm him with a, torrent of 


renewed oaths, followed by a most touching apology, 
though not, we fear, by any permanent reform. 

Nor were the southern visitors to the Highlands in 
these early days any better than the moderate minis- 
ters whose kirks they rarely entered. Sir Robert Peel 
and a party of his friends had leased the shootings 
around Kingussie. To most of them all days were alike 
for sport. The peasantry, finding themselves in a sore 
strait between their duty to their conscience and the 
temptations held out by the Sunday sportsmen, waited 
on their minister with entreaties for advice. He at 
once wrote to Sir Robert Peel a letter, read by Dr. 
Duff, which acknowledged all the kindness of the great 
statesman to the people, and asked him to respect their 
conscientious convictions. A week passed and no 
reply came. But on the next Sabbath the practical 
answer was given when, somewhat late, Sir Robert 
and his whole party took possession of the great pew 
belonging to the estate they had leased. On the next 
day the minister received a long and kindly letter from 
the Premier, declaring that it was he who should 
apologise for not ascertaining his duty to the people, 
and expressing a wish that all clergymen would act 
with similar faithfulness. 

Such reminiscences of his study of the inner life of 
the Church of Scotland, bad and good, lighting up his 
intimate knowledge of its history and his sympathy 
with the spiritual and civil patriotism of its people, 
made the disruption when it came a very real and 
joyous event to Dr. Duff, though far away from all its 
controversies and its triumphs. His enthusiasm burst 
forth the more impetuously that, for three years in 
India as during the five which he had spent in Europe, 
he had maintained an unbroken silence on the great 
spiritual-independence controversy. The chivalrous 
honour of the man prevented him from making any 


allusion to it in his official correspondence. Nor was 
Dr. Brunton, on the other side, less thoughtful. Neither 
could arrest the issue ; so long as that was doubtful 
or had not been precipitated by Providence, it might 
have been perilous for either to link to a temporary 
struggle, however great, the abiding principles of 
catholic missions to the non-Christian world. They 
would have been less than men if, in the intimacy of 
private correspondence, such sentences as the following 
had not occurred. But from first to last, and in every 
detail save the very serious questions of rights of 
property, legal and equitable as between Christian 
brethren, no controversy in all church history has ever 
been conducted so free from the spirit condemned by 
Christ and His Apostles, as the missionary side of the 
Disruption of 1843. After Dr. Duffs return to Cal- 
cutta in 1840 Dr. Brunton thus confidentially wrote to 
him on the 2nd April : " Your clerical friends are well ; 
as well, at least, as Non-Intrusion fever will allow. 
The excitation and the embitterment are by no means 
abating. Government declines to attempt any legisla- 
tive measure. Lord Aberdeen has given notice of one 
without saying what it is to be. Matters are getting 
more and more embroiled. Oh that peace were 
breathed into the troubled elements by Him who { still- 
eth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves and 
the tumult of the people.' Amidst the other lament- 
able consequences of this turmoil it swallows up every 
other interest in some of our fairest and purest minds, 
and the sweet call to missionary enterprise is too 
passionless to gain a hearing, where once it was plea- 
sant music. Send us better tidings from the lands of 
the South than we can transmit to you from this 
dwelling of storms. ,, By 28th January, 1843, Dr. 
Brunton wrote of " the really appalling schism in the 
Church which seems now inevitable, and which may 

12 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1843. 

most lamentably affect all her great and glorious 
' schemes.' May God avert it ! In man there is now 
no help or hope." 

So rigorously did Dr. Duff carry out his official duty 
to the committee and his sense of what was best for 
the Mission, that when his most intimate friends pri- 
vately pressed him to say how he would act in the 
event of an actual disruption, he told them why he 
could not reply to such a question. What Lord Cock- 
burn calls " the heroism " of the 18th May, which made 
Francis Jeffrey declare that he was " proud of his 
country," was not officially intimated to the fourteen 
Indian missionaries till October. Not till the end of 
July had the preliminary letters from Dr. Brunton, and 
from Dr. Charles J. Brown representing the Free 
Church, reached them, declaring that each Church was 
determined to carry on the Foreign and Jewish Missions. 
Dr. Brunton wrote : " We are most anxious to retain 
the co-operation of those whom we have found experi- 
mentally so thoroughly qualified for their work and so 
devoted to its prosecution. We earnestly hope, there- 
fore, that you will see it to be consistent with your 
sense of duty to remain in that connection with us, 
which to us, in the past, has been a source of so much 
satisfaction and thankfulness. I write to you collec- 
tively, not individually, because we have no wish that 
personal considerations should influence your deci- 
sion." Dr. Chalmers was not present at the meeting 
of the provisional committee of the Free Church, for 
which Dr. C. J. Brown wrote the letter, which thus 
delicately concluded : " The committee do not of 
course presume to enter into discussion with you on 
the subject, or to say one word as to the course which 
you may feel it right to follow." To that Chalmers 
added this postscript, " I state my confident belief 
that, notwithstanding the engrossment of our affairs at 


home, the cause of all our missions will prove as dear, 
and be as liberally supported as ever by the people of 
Scotland." With such faith, in such a spirit, did the 
second Knox and his band of 470, soon increased to 
730 and now to some 1,100 ministers, commit their 
Church to extension abroad no less than at home. In 
this respect the third Reformation was more truly 
Christ's than the second or the first. 

The joyful adherence of all the Eastern and Jewish 
missionaries and their converts, in contrast to the East 
India Company's Presbyterian chaplains, — the eager 
response of every one of the fourteen sent to the 
peoples of India, from Dr. Wilson then in Jerusalem, 
to Mr. Anderson in Madras, and Dr. Duff in Bengal, 
was added to complete the spiritual sacrifice, as 
well as the moral heroism, and to give a new stim- 
ulus to what Lord Cockburn called " the magnificent 
sacrifices which, year after year, showed the strong 
sincerity and genuine Scotticism of the principles on 
which the movement had depended." The words, in 
1834, of Dr. Inglis, the founder of the Kirk's India 
Mission, were lighted up with a new and universal 
meaning, in the far East as in little Scotland. " The 
kingdom of Christ is not only spiritual but indepen- 
dent ; no earthly government has a right to overrule 
or control it." 

For himself alone, Dr. Duff published an " Explan- 
atory Statement, addressed to the friends of the India 
Mission of the Church of Scotland, as it existed pre- 
vious to the Disruption in May, 1843." This passage 
takes up the narrative at the reception of the official 
appeals from Dr. Brunton and Dr. Charles Brown. 

" We were now laid under a double necessity openly 
to avow our sentiments. Was there any hesitation 
when the hour of trial came ? None whatsoever. So 
far as concerned my own mind, the simple truth is, 

14 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

that as regards the great principles contended for 
by the friends and champions of the Free Church, I 
never was troubled with the crossing of a doubt or 
the shadow of a suspicion. In earliest youth these 
principles were imbibed from the ' Cloud of Witnesses/ 
and other kindred works. And time and mature 
reflection, wholly undisturbed by the heats and col- 
lisions of party warfare, only tended to strengthen my 
conviction of their scriptural character, and to rivet 
the persuasion of their paramount importance to the 
spiritual interests of man. But though there was not 
a moment's hesitation as to the rectitude of the prin- 
ciples, and consequent obligation in determining the 
path of duty, there was a sore conflict of natural 
feeling, — a desperate struggle of opposing natural 
interests. Many of my dearest and most devoted 
personal friends still adhered to the Establishment ; 
and I could not but foresee how ecclesiastical separation 
might lead to coolness, coolness to indifference, and 
indifference to eventual alienation ; and that heart 
must be colder and deader than mine, that could, 
without a thought and without an emotion, contem- 
plate such an issue. All the most vivid associations 
connected with my original appointment, — the ardours 
and imaginings of inexperienced youth, — the exciting 
hopes and fears inseparable from an untried and 
hazardous enterprise, — anxieties felt and removed, — 
trials encountered, difficulties overcome, and success 
attained, — were all indissolubly linked with the Estab- 
lished Church of Scotland. The revered projector of 
the Mission, Dr. Inglis, and his respected successor, 
Dr. Brunton, had, each in his turn, throughout the 
long period of fourteen years, treated me rather with 
the consideration, the tenderness, and the confidence 
of a father towards his son, than with the formal but 
polite courtesies of a mere official relationship. When 

«x,vm»,T.mA^r om » mo ,^vm " 


I looked at the noble fabric of the General Assembly's 
Institution, so very spacious and commodious, and 
so richly provided with library, apparatus, and all 
other needful furniture ; and recalled to remembrance 
the former days, when we had to toil and labour in 
close, confined, and unhealthy localities, without the 
aid of library or apparatus, and with but a scanty and 
ill-favoured assortment even of the necessary class- 
books, and thought of the reiterated statements and 
explanations, appeals and pleadings, disappointments 
and long delays, ere such a fabric had reared its head 
as an additional architectural ornament to the metro- 
polis of British India ; and when, along with all this, 
I reflected on the high probability, or rather moral 
certainty, that separation from the Establishment must 
be followed by an evacuation of the present Mission 
premises, I could not help feeling a pang somewhat 
akin to that of parting with a favourite child. Again, 
when I looked at the still nobler fabric within, — a 
fabric, of which the other was but the material tene- 
ment, — the living fabric, consisting of so many hun- 
dreds of the finest and most promising of India's 
sons, beaming with the smiles of awakening intelli- 
gence, and sparkling with the buoyancy of virgin 
hopes ; when I considered this fabric, so closely com- 
pacted through the varied gradations of an all-compre- 
hending system, that embraced the extremes of the 
lowest rudimental elements and the highest collegiate 
erudition, — a system so intricate, and yet so orderly, 
— so multifarious in its details, and yet so harmonious 
in its workings, scope, and ends, — a system, whose 
organization, discipline, and progressive development, 
it had required thirteen years of combined and inces- 
sant labour to bring to the present point of maturity 
and perfectness; and when I thought how, in the 
present crisis of things, separation from the Establish- 

1 6 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

ment might prove the dissolution and breaking up of 
the whole into scattered fragments ; I could not help 
experiencing a sensation somewhat equivalent to that 
of beholding a numerous and beloved family engulphed 
in the deep, or swallowed up by an earthquake. Once 
more, when I thought of the doubtful and inadequate 
prospect of our support in the new relationship of a 
Free Church Mission, the anxious doubts and fears 
expressed on that head in private communications 
from home, owing to the tremendous pressure on the 
liberalities of the Christian people, for the urgencies 
of their own immediate wants, — the loss and alienation 
of many of the great and the mighty, who hitherto 
had smiled propitious on our labours, — the disadvan- 
tage and disparagement to our credit, cause, and good 
name, which might accrue from our abandonment of 
premises with which had been associated so much of 
what was reputable and successful in our past pro- 
ceedings, — the certainty that, by numbers of the more 
bigoted natives, such forced abandonment would be 
construed as a retributive visitation from the gods, on 
account of our persevering attacks on their faith and 
worship, — the confusion and disgrace which might 
thus, in their estimation, redound to Christianity itself, 
and the corresponding triumph to an exulting heathen- 
ism, — the dread of anticipated rivalries and collisions 
between the agents of Churches so violently wrenched 
asunder, and the scandal and stumbling-block which 
these might occasion or throw in the way of the 
struggling cause of a yet infantile evangelization; 
— when I thought of all this, and much more of a 
similar character, it seemed as if a thousand voices 
kept ringing in my ears, saying, ' Pause, pause ; cling 
to the Establishment, and if you do so, you will 
advance, without interruption, in the gorgeous vessel 
of Church and State, which so majestically ploughs 


the waves over a sea of troubles.' In opposition to 
such a muster and array of antagonist influences, what 
had I to confront ? Nought but the blazing appre- 
hension of the truth and reality of the principles at 
issue, — their truth and reality in Jehovah's infallible 
oracles, — their truth and reality in the standards, 
constitution, and history of the Church of Scotland, — 
nought but the burning monitions of conscience, rela- 
tive to the morally compulsive obligation of walking 
in the path of apprehended duty. It seemed as if 
a thousand counter-voices kept pealing in my ears, 
loud as the sound of great thunders, or the noise of 
many waters, saying, e Let pride or prejudice, self- 
interest or natural feeling, be allowed to obscure the 
apprehension of truth, or stifle the directive energy of 
conscience ; and then, though your dwelling be in the 
palaces of state, and your refuge the munition of rocks, 
there will be inward misgivings, that ever and anon 
shall cause the heart to melt, the hands to be feeble, 
the spirit to faint, and the knees to be weak as water. 
But, be fully persuaded in your own mind. Let no 
sinister influences be suffered to interfere. Let the 
apprehension of truth, derived from the Fount of 
Revelation, be steadfast and unclouded, and the beckon- 
ings of conscience, illumined by the Word, meditation, 
and prayer be unreluctantly recognised and implicitly 
followed; and then may you stand erect in your 
integrity, undaunted and unmoved, though the earth 
should rend underneath your feet, and the rolling 
heavens overhead should rush into annihilation.' 
With views and sentiments like these, however power- 
ful might be the counter-inducements, how could I 
decide otherwise than I have done ? though, certainly, 
the existence of such powerful counter-inducements 
ought to stamp the decision with the unmistakeable 
character of honesty and conscientiousness. 
vol. 11. c 

1 8 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

" Doubtless, tad I yielded to those alluring worldly 
temptations, which were chiefly on one side ; or had I 
allowed carnal considerations of any kind to prevail 
against the sense of duty and the clear dictates of 
conscience, there were many plausible ready-made 
pretexts on which I might fall back, — many open- 
gated refuges into which I might retire, in order to 
palliate my tergiversation, screen my inconsistency 
from public view, conceal from others, and perhaps 
from myself, the secret actuating motives, and operate 
as a soporific on the troublesome mementoes of the 
inward monitor. But however convenient such a 
course might be for a season, — however soothing and 
flattering to the cravings of the natural man, how 
could it elude the piercing scrutiny of the all-seeing 
eye, or stand in arrest of judgment at the bar of the 
Great Assize ? " 

On the 10th August, the five Bengal missionaries of 
the Church of Scotland united in a despatch to both 
Dr. Brunton and Dr. Gordon, forwarding eight reso- 
lutions in which they declared their reasons for adher- 
ing to "the Free Protesting Presbyterian Church of 
Scotland," as Christian men and ministers. The reso- 
lutions were drawn up, we believe, by the youngest 
of their number, Dr. T. Smith. They issued to the 
public of India a joint " explanatory statement," clear, 
judicial and full of Christian charity without com- 
promise. Denied by Dr. Charles their right, before 
disruption, to meet in kirk-session of which three 
missionaries were members and were the majority, 
they formed a provisional church committee, which 
held the first public service of the Free Church in Cal- 
cutta, in Freemasons' Hall, on the 13th August. Dr. 
Duff preached the sermon, afterwards published, and 
announced that the Rev. John Macdonald would, in 
addition to his daily missionary duties, act as minister 


till the congregation could call a pastor from Scotland. 
A missionary character was given to the congregation 
from the first by the baptism of the convert Behari 
Lai Singh. 

Up to this day the five missionaries stood alone. But 
the Christian society of the metropolis and of many 
an isolated station in the interior was being profoundly 
moved. The earliest sign of the movement — which only 
repeated that in Scotland on a proportionate scale but 
in a far more catholic manner than was possible there — 
was a letter to Dr. Duff from the first physician in 
India. Who that knew him — what young official or 
merchant who was friendless and tempted, especially, 
did not love Simon Nicolson ? " I have been silent 
about your Church disruption till now, but I have 
watched it and you, and, with my wife and daughter, I 
cast in my lot with you. Your ordinary supplies will be 
stopped, but you must not let one of your operations 
collapse. Here is a cheque for Rs. 5,000, and more will 
follow when you give me a hint. ,, Such was the sub- 
stance of the first communication, and from a country- 
man. The next came from Mr. Justice Hawkins, of 
the supreme court of appeal, then known as the Sudder 
Dewanny Adawlut, but since amalgamated with the 
High Court of Judicature. He offered not only other 
aid but himself. The ten years' conflict had led him 
to see the necessity of spiritual independence and 
equality in the priesthood of all believing members of 
Christ's Church, lay and teaching, and so he left the 
Church of England. Another English judge, Mr. 
Macleod Wylie, not only accompanied him but pub- 
lished a treatise to justify his action, under the title, 
"Can I Continue a Member of the Church of England?" 
which was answered by a scholarly chaplain, Mr. 
Quartley, to whose pamphlet Dr. T. Smith published 
a rejoinder. When, on Thursday, the 24th August, a 

20 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

public meeting of the adherents of the Free Church 
was called, it was found that nearly the whole of the 
elders and a majority of the members of St. Andrew's 
Kirk, representing all classes in the English and 
Eurasian communities, had thrown in their lot with 
the houseless missionaries. To them and the physician 
and judges already mentioned there were added as the 
executive or financial committee, Mr. A. B. Mackin- 
tosh, who still plans generous things for the Free 
Church ; Messrs. James Calder Stewart, Robert Rose, 
D. Maccallum, W. Nichol, and M. Macleod. 

But where was a church to be found ? Dr. Duff 
went so far as to apply to Lord Ellenborough's 
government for the temporary use of a hall belonging 
to it, and used very frequently for dancing assemblies, 
but the authorities evaded the request by professing 
inability to understand the nature of the case. Then 
it was that the Eurasian committee offered the hail 
of their Doveton College to a man who had done so 
much for them. Six lay elders and six deacons were 
duly elected by the congregation, who at once prepared 
for the erection of a proper ecclesiastical building. 
After some five thousand pounds had been spent in 
rearing that designed by Captain Goodwyn, of the 
Engineers, it fell down the night before it was to be 
entered for worship. Undismayed the members erected, 
at a total cost of some twelve thousand pounds, the 
present church, which so good an authority as the late 
Bishop Cotton pronounced the prettiest in Calcutta. 
Closely allied with the Mission, feeding it with money 
and fed by it with men, the Calcutta Free Church has 
in the past thirty-five years enjoyed the ministratioon 
of the Revs. Mr. Mackail, Mr. J. Milne (of Perth), 
Mr. Pourie, Mr. Don (now of King Williamstown), 
and Mr. W. Milne (of Auchterarder). The members, 
averaging a hundred in number, have raised, in that 


period £106,500, an example of the Christian power of 
a practical voluntaryism in its way even more remark- 
able than that of Free St. George's, Edinburgh with its 
ten thousand a year. 

This church laid on Dr. Duff, as senior missionary, 
the congenial duty of giving " some public exposition 
of the principles and grounds of separation from the 
Established Church of Scotland and of adherence to the 
Free Church of Scotland.' ' To hear his four lectures 
on the sole and supreme headship of the Lord Jesus 
Christ over His own Church, the town-hall was filled. 
Under the title of "A Voice from the Ganges," the 
published lectures attracted great attention, and the 
volume has recently been cited, on both sides of the 
patronage controversy, by Sir Henry Moncreiff and 
others. In the light of the legislation of 1874, the 
latest of the blind steps of a party majority in Parlia- 
ment towards a reconstructed Kirk of Scotland, these 
introductory words of Dr. Duff read like prediction : 

" The ' powers that be/ quitting their own proper functions 
and province, have, with what looks like the infatuation of 
judicial blindness, confederated against ' the Lord and His 
anointed/ They have gained a temporary triumph. They 
have filled the land with their paeans and their songs. They 
securely calculated on a permanent ascendency. Though there 
be signs enough in the heaven above and on the earth below to 
rebuke their temerity, they still dream of empty visions. De- 
spite all reminiscences of the past, all monitions of the present, 
all ominous presages of the future, they still cling with doating 
fondness to the delusive hope that they have set and fastened 
the very key-stone of conservative policy, while they have only 
effectually sapped and undermined one of the main pillars on 
which it ought to rest. They meant, honestly perhaps, to up- 
hold, whereas they have only successfully destroyed ; — and not 
only destroyed, but succeeded in laving a combustible train 
which shall issue in results as much above their power to 
arrest as it was beyond their forecasting sagacity to foresee. 
Already has the influence of their great exploit extended to 

22 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

other and far distant lands. Already has it begun to be felt 
on the banks of the Ganges. Nor is it likely to pause in its 
onward career till, with the prints and footsteps of its presence, 
it has permeated the globe. 

" Such being the momentous nature of the recent struggle 
between Church and State in Scotland, and such the magnitude 
of its present and prospective consequences, is it not incum- 
bent on every reflecting mind to inquire more minutely into the 
nature and character of the principles on account of which the 
unequal contest has so long been maintained ? These prin- 
ciples, it will be found, are not of mushroom growth, neither 
are they of yesterday. They are not of local, provincial, or 
national import merely ; neither are they of fleeting, ephemeral, 
perishable concern." No : they have been of old from the 
beginning; the range of their operation is coextensive with 
the globe ; and the period of their duration runs parallel with 
eternity. Neither let it be supposed that the intrinsic value 
or grandeur of the principles is to be estimated by the appa- 
rent insignificance of the chosen battle-field. It is not the 
remoteness, the narrowness, or the barrenness of local territory 
that constitutes the criterion of greatness in respect to high- 
toned principle, or moral force, or spiritual truth. On the 
arid plain of Marathon, and beneath the rugged cliffs of Ther- 
mopylae, the heroic patriotism of one or two petty principalities 
of Greece earned for itself laurels, which have since inflamed the 
hearts of thousands, wherever the march of civilization has 
reached. On the isolated and bleak shores of Iona, was achieved 
a conquest over ignorance and barbarism, which diffused its 
quickening influence over neighbouring states and far distant 
realms. In the obscure village of Wittemberg was fought 
1 the good fight/ which silenced the thunders of the Vatican, 
shook the sceptre from the right arm of civil and religious 
tyranny, liberated the human mind from the prison-house of 
ages, and lighted a flame in the citadel and temple of truth 
which shall yet illumine the world. And has not this earth — 
the globe itself which we inhabit — whose comparative unim- 
portance in the high scale of the Almighty's workmanship is 
such that, by its annihilation, f the universe at large would 
suffer as little, in its splendour and variety, as the verdure and 
sublime magnitude of a forest would suffer by the fall of a 
single leaf ' — has not this little speck, amid the statelier worlds 


that bestrew the fields of immensity, been selected as the 
scene of the most stupendous of all conflicts — the conflict be- 
tween the Prince of Light and the potentates of darkness — 
the conflict in whose mighty issues the flag of mercy was 
hung from the cross of satisfied justice, and the horrors of 
perdition exchanged for the hallelujahs of eternal joy ? 

" Nor has Scotland been heretofore unhonoured as the field 
for determining the strength of antagonist principles fraught 
with the weal or the woe of nations. There, the ambition of all- 
grasping Rome first fairly grappled with the passion of patriot- 
ism ; and there was she first most effectually taught that the 
f love of hearth and home ' could inspire the poorest pos- 
sessors of the sternest and wildest of lands, with a spirit and 
energy that were more than a match for her invincible legions. 
There was her lordly aristocratic neighbour of the South at 
length constrained to learn, that the genuine spirit of liberty 
and independence could outlive the wear and tear of whole cen- 
turies of oppression ; and, ever and anon, rallying into fresh 
vigour, could humble in the dust the pride and flower of all her 
chivalry. Thus roughly cradled amid the storms, and nurtured 
amid the tempests of troubled life, the character of the 
Scottish people grew up into a robustness and hardihood, and 
their principles of action into a tenacity of sinewy strength, 
that could not brook the touch of foreign tyranny. - " 

From the spiritual kingship of Christ over the soul 
of every individual believer, through Bible revelation, 
Church annals and Scottish history, Dr. Duff traced 
the conflict between Erastian Csesarism and the inde- 
pendence of the spiritual man or church in purely spiri- 
tual things. He did not spare either the learning or 
the law of Lord Brougham, whose antecedents he 
thus showed to have coloured the decision which he 
gave against the liberties of the people, in the highest 
appeal court : — " Truth requires that it should be told, 
that it is to the bitter, rancorous, and inveterate 
hostility of the eccentric and not very consistent 
ex-Chancellor Brougham, that the new, unheard of 
and adverse decisions of the House of Lords against 

24 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843, 

the claims of the Church of Scotland are mainly to be 
attributed. With him aversion and opposition to the 
Evangelical party in the Church and their Non-intru- 
sion principles would appear to be natural and heredi- 
tary. His own grandfather, by the mother's side, (a 
Mr. Sym) was a minister of the Church of Scotland, 
forcibly intruded on a reluctant people by the bayonets 
of the soldiery, amid confusion, riot and bloodshed. 
The entire population of the parish deserted the 
church in a body. Poor Mr. Sym became merely the 
' stipend-lifter ' of the parish, having secured the 
fleece but scarcely one of the flock. Officiating, as he 
was legally obliged to do, every Sabbath, but finding 
nothing except bare walls and empty benches, and 
being apparently after all a man of some sensibility, 
he died, after a year or two, of a broken heart. At 
the time of his forcible ordination by a few wild 
men, imported for that worthy purpose, as a special 
commission, from the ' holy land ' of Moderatism, 
Aberdeenshire, there was only one friend present to 
countenance the lawless scene — designated in the 
record of the day's proceedings ? a Mr. William 
Robertson, minister of Gladsmuir.' This was the 
gentleman who afterwards became Principal Robert- 
son, the celebrated historian and leader of the 
Moderate party. Mr. Sym, soon after his forced 
settlement, married Mr. Robertson's sister. When 
he, shortly after, died, he left a widow and infant 
daughter. This only child and niece of Principal 
Robertson subsequently married Mr. Brougham, and 
thus became the mother of Lord Brougham. No 
wonder though he should be so enamoured of a cause 
so dear to his grand-uncle and grandfather ! No 
wonder though he should manifest such repugnance to 
a cause which so preyed on the spirits of the latter as 
to cost him his life ! " 


The radical Westminster Review, of all periodicals, 
when vindicating the Free Church in those contro- 
versial days, thus completes the story: — " The morn- 
ing of the 30th of May, 1751, saw the churchyard of 
the parish of Torphichen thronged with rustics in 
their Sabbath clothes. With sorrow and indignation 
they were to witness the settlement of a pastor over 
them in the teeth of their continued and universal 
opposition. A cavalcade of merry clergymen came 
riding up headed by Mr. William Robertson, the 
minister of Gladsmuir. He was a man about thirty, 
with a countenance which he has transmitted to his 
descendant Lord Brougham — altogether an active, 
keen, bright look. The cavalcade of clergymen were 
flanked and surrounded by a troop of dragoons. As 
the troopers and parsons dashed among the people, 
tradition says, Captain Hamilton, of Westport, drew 
his sword, and shouted, * What ! won't ye receive the 
gospel ? I'll swap off the head o' ony man that '11 no 
(receive the gospel).' Thus did William Robertson 
proceed to bestow the spiritual office. Many years 
elapse. He is the chief of the Kirk. He has won the 
crown of history. Writing to Gribbon in his days of 
celebrity, he gives the clue to his conduct when the 
dragoon-heading intruder at Torphichen. We find 
Principal Robertson the chief of the Kirk, congratu- 
lating the historian of the ' Decline and Fall ' on his 
skilful management of superstition and bigotry in his 
chapters on Christianity. He thus gives us a glimpse 
of the moral theory of which the Torphichen intrusion 
was the application. The congratulation to Gribbon, 
and the dragoon ordination, were only the abstract 
and the concrete of the same thing." 

There have been more descriptions than one of the 
great day in the history of Scotland, by eyewitnesses, 
from opposite points of view, like Dr. Norman Macleod, 

26 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

Dr. Buchanan and Lord Jeffrey. This is Dr. Duff's, 
in the town-hall of Calcutta : 

"At length, the memorable day — the 18th of May, 1843, — a 
day much to be remembered in the annals of Scotland, arrived. 
For days before, there was a mustering and a gathering of 
forces to the metropolis. The general outward aspect of things 
is changed. A strange and ominous foreboding seizes and 
occupies the minds of men. All look grave, solemn, austerely 
meditative. Eiot is banished from the streets ; mirth is silent 
at the festive board ; the voice of music and of song is touched 
with an air of plaintive melody. Everything betokens the ap- 
proach of some mighty movement, the awful hour of some grand 
catastrophe. The church of St. Andrews — the national saint of 
Scotland in days of popish idolatry — is specially fitted up for the 
occasion. Thither the marshalled forces resort. There they 
assemble in battle array. The antagonist principles, which con- 
vulsed the nation, and were now to rend the Church asunder, 
were there, embodied in the appropriate forms of the servants 
of Christ and the servants of Caesar. The house is divided into 
two. Look first at the side of worldly dignity and honour. 
Behold that brilliant spectacle with its dazzling throng. A 
visible throne is there, with its purple canopy. The Royal 
Commissioner is there — the visible representative of British 
majesty. The nobles of the land, the proud wearers of stars, 
swords, and coronets, are there, with their faithful satellites, 
joyously basking in borrowed radiance, and eager to do 
homage to the rising star and sensible symbol of earthly 
royalty. All things are there, fitted to allure the carnal eye, 
and fill and satisfy the carnal heart. Then turn to the other 
side. No visible throne is there; no marks or signs of earthly 
royalty are there; no gorgeous drapery is there; no obtrusive 
display of armorial devices is there ; no shining emblems of the 
ancient lineage and feudal pedigree are there ; — nought is 
there, fitted to attract the carnal eye or fill and satisfy the 
carnal heart. But, to the eye of faith, before which the in- 
visible is revealed and the distant realized as present, there 
are transcendent glories manifested there. There, is He Who 
holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, and Who walketh in 
the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. Faith at once 
^cognises Him, Who is fairer than the sons of men — the chief 


among ten thousand and altogether lovely. Faith at once 
hails and proclaims Him King of Zion, King of glory, King 
of saints. His servants are there, His chosen servants who 
fought the good fight, and, in many a battle-field, were ready 
to die rather than suffer the lustre of His crown to be tar- 
nished or the glory of His sovereignty to be eclipsed. And 
all the faithful of the land are there, — in winged prayers that 
have sped to heaven and returned, swifter than the sunbeam, 
laden with blessing. And holy angels are there, as minister- 
ing spirits, hovering over the scene with outstretched wings, 
in admiring complacency. All things are ready. The time, 
the hour, the decisive moment is come. To the National 
Established Church of Scotland, in the persons of her chosen 
delegates, the final question is substantially put — pat, in the 
face of the nation, in the face of Christendom, in the face of 
the world ; — Which of the two great antagonist principles is to 
prevail ? — the power of faith, or the power of sense — the love 
of heaven, or the love of earth — fealty to Christ, or fealty to 
Csesar — the honour and prerogative of Zion's King, or the 
exaltation of Zion's sacrilegious spoiler — the freedom and inde- 
pendence of the Church, the Redeemer's immaculate spouse, 
or its unconditional surrender and submission, at the lordly 
dictation of a usurping foreign power ? 

" A deep and thrilling pause ensues. At length, the repre- 
sentative voice of the faithful, through their appointed organ, 
is heard in accents that bespeak the majesty of principle and 
of truth : — Faith hath triumphed over sense ; heaven over 
earth ; Christ over Csesar. From this hour we sever our con- 
nection with the State, as that connection can no longer be 
maintained without a surrender of the prerogatives of our 
Great Head, and all the blood-bought rights and liberties of 
His ministers and people. But these we cannot, we dare not 
surrender. They are not ours to give ; but His, whose they are 
by inalienable right of eternal covenant. In order to maintain 
these sacredly inviolate, we hereby renounce our status, our 
honours, and other civil advantages — our homes, and incomes, 
and earthly all. In order to maintain these inviolate, we now 
separate ourselves, — not from the Church of Scotland as a true 
Church of Christ, — for her sound scriptural standards we still 
revere, and her simple and noble scriptural constitution we still 
admire, — but from the Ecclesiastical Establishment of Scotland,, 

28 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

as now degraded and enslaved by the State. And from this 
house, in which the prerogatives of our Great Head, and the 
rights and privileges of His members have been ignominiously 
trodden in the dust, we go forth as freemen of the Lord — free 
citizens of the freest Commonwealth on earth — joyfully to do 
homage to our glorious King, seated, in unrivalled supremacy, 
on the ancient throne of His own kingdom and free dominion. 
So saying, forth proceeded, amid the solemn silence and un- 
broken stillness, that indicate the mighty throb and swell of 
inward emotion, too big for utterance ; — forth proceeded, from 
the desecrated and desolated sanctuary of an Establishment, 
once the nation's chiefest glory and renown ; — forth proceeded, 
the representatives of Scotland's piety and Scotland's patriot- 
ism — the representatives of Scotland's covenanted faith and 
Scotland's moral worth — the representatives of Scotland's 
unshaken loyalty to Zion's King, and Scotland's undying 
attachment to Zion's cause ; — forth they proceeded, amid the 
brightest gleams and sunshine of heavenly favour and the 
richest showers of heavenly blessing ; — forth they proceeded, 
to lay the foundation — firm and indestructible as the Rock of 
Ages on which it is based — the foundation of one of the noblest 
edifices of any age or nation — the foundation of the Free 
Protesting Church op Scotland." 

The effect of the Disruption on the India Mission 
was, from the very first, to more than double its effi- 
ciency, and the reaction of the Mission on the Church 
of Scotland Free was most blessed. As the first con- 
vener, Dr. Gordon, reported, the new yet old Mission 
started with only £327 in its treasury, but full of faith 
and power. Dr. Candlish, in May, 1843, declared, when 
moving the appointment of the new committee, " I 
trust that the foreign scheme of our protesting Church 
will be upheld and maintained with even increased 
efficiency notwithstanding the demand for funds for 
our home operations, and that we will give proof to 
the Christian world, and even to the ungodly world, 
of the soundness of that maxim referred to by our 
Moderator, that home and foreign missionary associa- 


tions mutually act and react on one another ; and that 
the very increase of the sum received for our home 
operations will be the pledge of a large increase in the 
fund available for foreign missions. It would ill be- 
come me to bestow any panegyric on the godly men 
whom the Lord has shut up in that field of foreign 
missions. I believe that I may very safely concur 
in the expressions of confidence which fell from my 
friend and brother Mr. Guthrie, that we may reckon 
on having all the missionaries adhering to our pro- 
testing Church. At all events, it will be our duty 
to record, in reference to the missionaries in India, 
substantially what we have recorded in reference to 
the missionaries to the Jews, that the Assembly con- 
tinue to keep in their present offices all the mission- 
aries who shall adhere to the protesting Church of 
Scotland. . . We shall thus, I trust, if we cannot 
serve ourselves heirs to the accumulated wealth of 
the committee of the old Establishment, serve our- 
selves heirs to what is far more valuable than their 
wealth, — to the men whom God has raised up for this 
holy work, to the means of prosecuting that work, so 
far as these depend on the liberality which God puts 
into the heart of His people, and to the instrumentality 
by which the zeal of our people has mainly kept up the 
regular periodical issue of information on this subject." 
Dr. P. Macfarlan, seconding Dr. Candlish, stated 
that " there was not one of the schemes of the Church 
which had awakened more interest than this, an interest 
which had been to a great extent produced by the ardour 
and devotedness of Dr. Duff. Indeed it was singular, in 
the course of the doings of Divine providence, that the 
circumstance which rendered Dr. Duff's presence neces- 
sary in this country, viz., the effects of the hot climate 
upon his constitution, should have been the means of 
producing such an incalculable amount of good." 

30 LIFE OF DE. DUFF. 1843. 

Not only did the fourteen missionaries announce 
their personal devotion to the Free Church, but, 
knowing the demands on the home resources, they de- 
clared their conviction that funds might be raised in 
India for the three new colleges. This led the Church 
at home to announce, in the first annual appeal for 
congregational collections : " We concur with them in 
thinking that much will probably be done, by generous 
officers and civilians, whose Christian zeal and devoted- 
ness will only lead them to feel a deeper interest in 
the cause when its former supports may seem to be 
weakened; for, thank God ! there has been a revival of 
pure religion among not a few of the European resi- 
dents, and we should have little fear of the result, were 
the care of our present institutions devolved on the 
army alone. But when we consider that these Insti- 
tutions require to be indefinitely extended, if they are 
to exert any influence on the general mind of India, 
and that probably the buildings, which have hitherto 
afforded at once a suitable residence and a commodious 
scene of labour to our missionaries, may be alienated 
to other parties, we feel that redoubled energy is 
necessary at home, in addition to all the aid which can 
reasonably be expected from abroad, if we would main- 
tain and carry on the great work which has been so 
auspiciously begun." 

The result was a sum of £6,402 that year, which 
steadily rose to £32,000 in Scotland alone thirty 
years after, and, on Dr. Duff's death, reached the total 
sum of £535,000, or about three quarters of a million 
sterling, if the revenue abroad, in India, Africa, and 
the South Pacific, be added. The Free Church of 
Scotland would have been unworthy of her principles 
and of the men who, in the far East, loyally sacrificed 
themselves for her, if she had not started and ad- 
vanced as a Missionary Church, however far short of 


a high ideal she may be conscious that she still falls. 
.For, after all, it is rather a humiliating fact that 
the whole sum of £560,000 given by her for foreign 
missions in thirty-six years does not equal that raised 
by her for all purposes every year. 

With the consent of both parties the Calcutta mis- 
sionaries continued their work in the Institution and 
mission-house built and furnished by themselves, to 
the close of the session of 1843. But what then ? 
There were two easy solutions of the difficulty. 
Morally, equitably, the whole belonged to Dr. Duff 
and his colleagues, who had called it into existence. 
The college, its library and scientific apparatus, 
were the fruit of personal legacies and gifts made to 
Dr. Duff himself chiefly, and on the express under- 
standing that he was to use the funds as he pleased. 
His letters to Dr. Ewart and Mrs. Briggs, and the 
account of the funds raised by himself or pressed on 
his acceptance at home, illustrate this.* The Christian, 
the honourable, the gentlemanly solution was that first 
proposed by Dr. Duff, Dr. Wilson and the Free Church 
committee, that the old missionaries should continue 
their work, purchasing back from the Established 
Church the premises which were morally their own, if 
required; and that that Church, desiring to begin 
a new mission, should break fresh ground in the 
neglected cities of Upper India, whence it would have 
been ready to take possession for Christ of Sindh, the 
Punjab, and Central Asia. In his first official com- 
munication to Dr. Brunton, Dr. Gordon thus wrote of 
the buildings in Bengal ; the same was true of Bom- 
bay. In Madras there was no difficulty, for the mis- 
sionaries there only rented college rooms : — 

" Those at Calcutta we believe to be legally at the 

* Vol. i., pp. 371, 381,465. 

32 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1843. 

disposal of the General Assembly of the Establishment, 
but equity and a general regard to the interests of 
Christianity require that they should not be wrested 
from their present possessors. Should it be found 
that any of the contributors to their erection object to 
this arrangement, a pecuniary compensation could be 
made to the Establishment for the amount of their con- 
tributions. Any difficulty of this kind would be re- 
moved by the mode of settlement proposed by Dr. Duff, 
who thus writes to our committee on the subject : — 
'Every consideration leads us strongly to urge, through 
you, the propriety of purchasing, at a fair equivalent, 
the whole of the present premises. The Foreign Mis- 
sion committee of the Establishment would find ample 
unoccupied territory elsewhere. The once imperial 
cities of Agra and Delhi have for years been pleading 
for an extended branch of our Mission. What a grand 
field would these present for missionary operations ! 
For new men coming out, it must be all one whether 
they proceed to one place or another. They have 
languages, etc., to learn ; and the acquisition of these, 
whether in Calcutta, or Agra, or elsewhere, must be 
attended with the same difficulty. It is altogether 
different with those who have a local experience, and 
an acquaintance with local dialects, etc. Besides, it 
would wear the aspect of magnanimity were those who 
may plead legal rights to this property to dispose of it 
on friendly and equitable terms, for the sake of more 
widely diffusing the treasures of knowledge and the 
glad tidings of salvation over this vast and super- 
stition-ridden land.' " 

Time, which has brought not only the forgetfulness, 
by a new generation, of the animosities inseparable 
from the events of 1843, but the public and legislative 
confession by the Established Church in 1874 that it 
was wrong in upholding the proximate cause of the 

JEt, 37. EQUITY Versus LEGALITY. 33 

Disruption, has developed such co-operation by the 
two Churches in India and Africa at least, that we 
may be sure the men of this day would have gladly 
conceded the equitable settlement, the denial of which 
created a painful scandal then. For were not these the 
days of church-site refusals, of congregations forced 
to worship below high- water mark and under winter 
snows, of social and personal persecution, of lawsuits 
and dissensions, which would be incredible now were 
they not the too well attested evidence of the fact that 
of all hatreds the odium ecclesiasticum is the worst ? 

The Established Church committee, in an evil mo- 
ment for themselves and the cause of truth and charity, 
put forward a "Mr. Thomas Scott, auditor of ac- 
counts, etc.," to answer Dr. Duff's statement as to the 
funds given to the missionary personally and used by 
him, at his own discretion, for site, buildings, library, 
and apparatus. On the lowest ground the case was 
one in which no one could know so much as Dr. Duff 
himself. All the figures were on record, and the re- 
sult was seen in the whole Mission property ; but Mr. 
Thomas Scott had not even been the treasurer who 
worked with Dr. Duff in the financial statement. Yet 
from sheer weakness and ignorance the Established 
committee allowed Mr. Thomas Scott, in their name, 
to attack the first missionary of the Church of Scot- 
land, in the September number (1844) of its official 
Record. The refusal of the committee to act equit- 
ably had, in truth, raised such an outcry of remon- 
strance from all the Evangelical Churches that it felt 
bound to make some defence. Save for the miserable 
controversy thus forced on the Church, which had at 
once retired from even the ground of Christian equity 
when it saw insult added to injury, we do not regret a 
circumstance which called forth Dr. Duff's reply. In 
eighty octavo pages, " put in type in order to facilitate 


34 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

the transmission of copies by post, but not published," 
he disposed of Mr. Thomas Scott and his ignorances 
or misrepresentations, in a style which makes the 
pamphlet a rare contribution to cryptic literature. 
Rare, not merely for the moral and logical extinc- 
tion of the official assailant, nor even for the gleams of 
autobiographic fact and humour in the history of the 
different funds, but for the magnanimous charity which 
robbed the whole of every sting, while a righteous re- 
sentment and holy indignation for his cause burned high. 
Apart from legacies and sums pressed on Dr. Duff for 
his private or family use, all of which he had poured 
into the Mission treasury, we may give this one case as 
an illustration of the nature of the funds in dispute : — 

" With Colonel Wilson and his excellent sisters I happened 
to he on terms of intimate friendship. Individuals of more 
kindly disposition and more benevolent hearts it has seldom 
been my lot to meet with. The Colonel had much to keep him 
in vivid remembrance of India. He was one of the British 
officers, who, under the mandate of the celebrated Hyder Ali, 
for upwards of two years lay in chains in the dungeons of 
Seringapatam. There were, moreover, other ties which still 
continued strongly to bind him to that distant land. He had 
repeatedly spoken to me about a special private commission, 
which he had set his heart on my executing for him on my 
return thither. As the period of my departure approached, he 
forwarded to me the requisite materials for its execution; and, 
at or about the same time, he sent me the larger of the two 
donations — giving me to understand that his placing such a 
sum entirely at my disposal was intended not merely as a mark 
of personal respect and esteem, but also as a slight token of 
gratitude for what I had so cheerfully undertaken (and what 
in point of fact I was subsequently enabled) to accomplish on 
his account. 

■* * * * # * 

" Again, as to the argument for retaining certain funds on 
the ground that they had been ' granted by the people of 
Scotland to the earnest personal pleadings ' of the justly vene- 
rated Dr. Inglis, — if it be at all valid on the one side, it must 


be equally valid on the other. If it be really valid for retaining 
funds granted to the personal pleadings of one individual, repre- 
senting one class of sentiments, it must be equally valid for re- 
storing funds that were granted to the personal pleadings of 
other individuals, representing another and totally different class 
of sentiments. On a matter of this kind delicacy forbids one to 
speak out; otherwise, how easy would it be to showthat the funds 
granted, directly or indirectly, by the people of Scotland, to the 
earnest personal pleadings of the writer of these remarks, 
were, to say the least, not inferior in amount to those granted to 
the earnest personal pleadings of his revered father and friend. 
" But I am done with the painful subject, I hope for ever 
What I have written has been extorted from me in self- vindi- 
cation and self-defence. My sole object has been to set myself 
right with the Church of Christ, and even with the reasonable 
portion of the world at large, respecting matters of fact that 
affect character and integrity. Ilather than provoke a quarrel 
or prolong a controversy on the subject, I at once, freely and 
for ever, relinquish all claim to any portion of the library and 
apparatus attached to the General Assembly's Institution, — 
however strong in moral equity I may still feel, and continue 
to feel, that claim to be. Indeed, could I have anticipated the 
manner in which the claim has been met, it never would have 
been advanced at all. But such was my estimate of the char- 
acter of the managing body at home, that I fondly hoped that 
a gentle hint as to the nature of the claim would have sufficed 
to have led to a reasonable and voluntary concession on their 
part — founded on a broad catholic, generous and magnani- 
mous view of the entire circumstances of the case. That the 
result has proved so contrary deeply grieves me — not so much 
on account of the loss which we incur, as on account of the 
loss which the cause of Christ is apt to sustain by the exhibi- 
tion of such a controversy in the sight of the heathen. May 
the Lord in His great mercy overrule the entire occurrence for 
good ! As to our immediate loss, I am much mistaken if there 
is not a spirit of life and liberality abroad among the Christian 
people of India, Scotland, England, and Ireland that shall very 
soon repair it — yea, perhaps, repair it so thoroughly, that our 
latter end, like that of the patient sufferer in the land of Uz, 
shall be better than the beginning. Time will show. 


36 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

a In many things, heretofore, I may have erred and come 
short. I may have erred in feeling; I may have erred in 
motive; I may have erred in judgment ; I may have erred in 
over-zeal, not in regard to the great cause itself for which I 
pled — for who could be over-zealous in pleading for the tem- 
poral and eternal interests of a hundred and thirty millions of 
perishing idolaters ? — but I may have erred in over-zeal for 
particular modes and methods of promoting the cause, or for 
the independent possession of particular means and instrumen- 
talities towards its more effective and successful promotion. 
And if in these, or such-like, or in any other respects I may 
have erred, either through ignorance or otherwise, I again cast 
myself, without qualification or reserve, on the sovereign mercy 
of my God, in the atoning sacrifice and justifying righteousness 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the sanctifying influences of the 
almighty Spirit of all grace ; — praying the Lord most fervently 
to forgive me freely these and all other sins and shortcomings 
whatsoever, — yea, and, in the plenitude of His ' unsearchable 
riches of grace/ so to illume the understanding, renew the 
heart, and strengthen every power and faculty of the regene- 
rated soul, that I may so err, so sin and so come short no more ! 

"I do feel humbled and confounded to think that I should 
have been necessitated to devote so much of all valuable time 
to the elucidation of a theme so sterile and so profitless. Sur- 
rounded as I am by millions of poor blinded idolaters, to whom, 
as to all others, life is so short and uncertain and the redemp- 
tion of the soul so inestimably precious, it is with shame and 
unfeigned sorrow that, for a cause so intrinsically worthless, 
I have found myself called on, more especially by the agent of 
a missionarv committee, to divert so much of time and thought 
and exertion from any of my evangelistic labours amongst 
them. Were any one at this moment to offer me, in free gift, 
a library and apparatus, of ten times or tenfold ten times the 
extent of those now in debate, under the contingent condition 
of its possibly entailing, some years hence, half the loss of 
time and vexation of spirit which, from first to last, has been 
incurred by the present wretched and unedifying discussion, I 
would fling the offer with loathing indignation away from me. 
Perish, would I say, perish for ever your library and apparatus, 
rather than that the Arch-enemy of souls should again have it 
in his power to convert them into an enginery for wasting tho 


season of a doomed sinner's probation, fomenting the spirit of 
acrimony and unkiudness, and kindling the flames of unhal- 
lowed controversy and strife — and that, too, in the very sight 
of the heathen whom we profess to pity and long to save. If, 
unrestrained by the miracles of grace and unawed by the 
grandeur of eternity, we desist not speedily — with what con- 
temptuous scorn may these hurl back upon us our arguments 
against the hatreds, the antipathies, and the discords which 
constitute the very soil of an ever-divided and ever-diverging 
heathenism ? With what ineffable disdain may they resent 
our most pathetical exhortations to mutual forbearance and 
heavenly charity ? And, oh, what a cutting, harrowing re- 
flection is this — that, under the influence of a blindfold zeal 
for the possession of a few paltry instrumentalities, which, if 
accumulated to infinity, could never of themselves save a single 
soul, any of us should be tempted to enact a part calculated 
to repel numbers of the dying multitude around us from the 
tree of life, the leaves of which are for the healing of the 
nations, and fitted only to impel them to rush with more frantic 
speed into the embrace of an ever-yawning perdition ! May 
the Lord have mercy on any who, without being overborne by 
an imperative overmastering necessity, may directly or indi- 
rectly contribute towards such a fatal consummation ; and may 
we be endowed with the spirit that would prompt us to ex- 
claim, in words of tenderness more touching than ever dropped 
from merely human lips : ' Father forgive thern, for they know 
not what they do.' " 

The other easy solution of the question, where shall 
the* five missionaries, their staff, and their converts 
and students obtain a building large enough in all 
native Calcutta ? was this. Colonel Dundas and some 
Indian friends, in Scotland, had presented Dr. Duff with 
about four hundred pounds as " a mark of respect " 
and for personal uses. This too he devoted to the Mis- 
sion. Adjoining the Institution in Cornwallis Square 
were three acres of unoccupied ground belonging to 
Government, but not enclosed and therefore the noi- 
some abode of all foulness. In vain had he asked the 

3^ LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

local financial board to purchase it in order to meet 
the wants of the increasing number of students and 
converts. The price was £3,500. On receiving a 
legacy of £1,000 he added this to the Dundas gift, 
and solicited the consent of Lord Auckland himself to 
the sale of the land for that sum, but the proposal 
had first to be sanctioned by the Court of Directors. 
By the time that the deed of conveyance was ready, 
the Disruption controversy was approaching a close. 
Mr. Macleod Wylie, the barrister, who wrote a pam- 
phlet on " The Scotch Law of Patronage and the 
recent Secession, " proving the Free Church right 
in law as in Scripture, advised Dr. Duff to keep the 
deed in his own name, the property being his own, 
until the issue of the conflict became clear. This he 
bad done, and on this spacious open ground he might, 
naturally and most conveniently, have erected the new 
college. But he was too much of a Christian and a 
gentleman to do what might even seem, to Hindoo 
and Christian, a violation of that law of love which the 
' residuary ' committee, as it was called, had scorned. 
In the very reply to Mr. Thomas Scott he heaped coals 
of fire on its head by volunteering the explanation — 
" It is not intended to have any portion of this ground 
occupied for carrying on the missionary operations of 
the Free Church. Sufficiently ample it is, and most 
healthfully and favourably situated for the erection of 
a new Institution and Mission-house. But its proxi- 
mity to the old Mission premises has determined us 
not so to appropriate it ; that we may thereby prove 
to the world that, on our part at least, we are not 
actuated by vindictive or retaliatory motives, or ani- 
mated by a spirit of hostile rivalry. It will either be 
let or resold, and the proceeds, either way, will be 
wholly and exclusively applied to missionary purposes." 
The new Mission-hoube was erected there long after, 


and its very proximity to the old house enabled Dr. 
Duff to hold most friendly intercourse with so gentle 
and earnest a missionary as Dr. Ogilvie, whom the 
Church of Scotland sent up from Madras there to 
represent it. Thus was the controversial bitterness of 
the Western Kirk deprived of its evil results in the 
eyes of the young converts and the watchful heathen. 

The whole college vacation of 1843-44, extended to 
two months, was spent by the missionaries in exploring 
every nook and corner of the native city for a site and 
a temporary home. The renown of the Disruption 
sacrifice, which had gone out through all lands, had 
in India been increased by the decision to evict the 
missionaries from their college, even though they 
offered to purchase their own, very much as Carey and 
the Serampore brethren had been compelled to do in 
similarly indefensible circumstances. From all sides, 
Hindoo as well as Christian, Anglican and Congrega- 
tionalist as well as Presbyterian, in America no less 
than in Asia and Europe, came expressions and proofs 
of indignant sympathy. This refers to the assistance 
of " W. Muir, Esq., Futtehpore," now Sir William Muir, 
K.C.S.L : 

" Calcutta, 4th October, 1843. 

14 My Dear Sm, — I beg most gratefully to acknow- 
ledge your very handsome boon to our Free Church. 
Your note accompanying it, though short, was sweet 
and refreshing. One pregnant expression dropped 
from the lips of one of God's own children, has in it a 
consolation beyond all gold and silver. I know that 
your heart is with every good cause ; and I really 
believe that, however unworthy we may be, ours is one 
of the best of causes. It is the cause of Christ — the 
sole and supreme head of His Church — redeemed and 
ransomed by His precious blood. In case you might 
desire further information as to our movement, I 

40 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

send you two or three pamphlets. We have many 
difficulties to contend with, but many friends to lend 
a helping hand ; and, above all, many comforts of 
God's Holy Spirit to animate and sustain us. Our 
duty is to persevere in the work of the Lord, and 
leave all results with Him. The day of India's illumi- 
nation io ill yet dawn, and the light shall be glorious. 
That is enough for us, whether we are privileged to 
see it or not. — Yours very gratefully, 

Alexander Duff." 

The year 1844 opened with spontaneous gifts 
amounting to £3,400. The Protestant missionaries of 
Calcutta united in this catholic address. 

" To the Rev. A. Duff, D.D., W. S. Mackay, D. Ewart, J. 
Macdonald and T. Smith, Missionaries of the Scottish Mis- 
sion in Calcutta. 

"Dear Brethren, — We, the undersigned members of the 
missionary body in Calcutta, owing to events which have oc- 
curred in Scotland, and the decision at which you have felt it 
your duty to arrive on the matters in debate, are apprehensive 
that your connection with missionary operations in Calcutta 
generally, and especially your connection with the Institution 
founded by one of your number, and matured and presided 
over by you all, may be materially affected, — and desire to ex- 
press our sympathy with you under the peculiar circumstances 
in which you are placed, and our hope that your labours may 
be still continued in a sphere in which they have been so emi- 
nently useful. 

" While, as a missionary body, attached to different sections 
of the Church, and conscientiously differing as to the principles 
which have led to those events, we refrain from offering any 
opinion upon them, we yet can and do reiterate the expression 
of our conviction as to the expediency and desirableness of the 
continuance of your labours in Calcutta and in the sphere which 
you have hitherto occupied. 

" We feel that it is both natural and equitable, that the 
harvest should be reaped and enjoyed by those who have broken 
up the fallow ground, and according to their views of Chris- 


tian duty have diligently and faithfully sowed the seed of the 
kingdom of God for so many years. Nor are we unapprehensive 
that, should others, however well qualified, enter into your 
labours, the harvest, owing to their lack of experience and 
their necessary want of acquaintance with the language and 
habits of the people, would be considerably diminished, and 
the affections of many whose minds have by you been made 
familiar with the nature, doctrines, and precepts of Christi- 
anity, materially alienated from Christian influence, — a con- 
summation which we are confident no Christian, whatever 
might be his views on other subjects, can contemplate with 

u Irrespective of your labours in connection with the Insti- 
tution and other direct operations of the Scottish Mission, we 
should exceedingly regret anything that might remove you 
from a sphere in which your influence and co-operation with 
others, under the blessing of Christ, have so eminently sub- 
served the catholic purposes of our holy faith, both in Calcutta 
and India generally. 

u With regard to the momentous subject which has occa- 
sioned this communication, our prayer is, that all parties may 
be led to adopt the measures most conducive to the glory of 
our blessed Lord, and the extension of His kingdom. — We are, 
dear brethren, yours in the bond of the Gospel, 
"(Signed) W. Yates, Baptist Missionary. 

A. Leslie, Do. 

J. Thomas, Do. 

J. Brooks, General Baptist Missionary. 

Wm. Morton, London Missionary Society. 

Gr. Pearce, Baptist Missionary Society. 

James Paterson, London Missionary Society. 

W. W. Evans, Baptist Missionary Society. 

G. Small, Do. 

James Innes, Church Missionary Society. 

James Long, Do. 

J. F. Osborn, Do. 

Jno. Campbell, London Missionary Society. 

Thos. Boaz, Do. 

R. De Eodt, Do. 

J. Wenger, Baptist Missionary Society. 

C. C. Aratoon, Do." 

42 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

Archdeacon Dealtry, about to become the second 
Bishop of Madras, though a dignitary of the other 
Established Church, was even more emphatic, on the 
higher ground of a wrong done to the whole Catholic 

The hunt for a college building, aided and sym- 
pathised in by good men of all creeds, concentrated 
itself on one place. In obtaining that Dr. Duff was 
helped by an orthodox Hindoo, the father of the most 
distinguished medical Bengalee, Rai Kanye Lai Dey 
Bahadoor, who has given us this account of it : 
" There was one house in Neemtollah street which was 
sufficiently commodious for the accommodation of an 
institution like the Free Church Institution, but it 
was in an untenantable condition, the joint owners 
thereof were not agreed among themselves and they 
had no mind to let the house for the use of a college. 
He knew a native gentleman, Rai Radhanath Dey 
Bahadoor, a man of note in his time as a deputy col- 
lector. Dr. Duff, if he liked, could have sent for him 
in order to confer with him on the subject of the house 
with the owners of which he was in relationship. But 
no ; he personally waited upon the Baboo from day to 
day in order to prevail upon him to use his interest 
with the proprietors to let the house on a long lease. 
The gentleman in question was himself a public-spirited 
man, and though an orthodox Hindoo he felt that in 
employing his humble services in this case he would be 
serving his country. He therefore heartily responded 
to the great missionary's desire, and succeeded in his 
intercession with the proprietors, Baboo Pran Kissen 
Sen and Brothers, to let the house, well known as that 
of the late Baboo Mothur Mohun Sen, to the Free 
Church missionaries. The terms offered were rather 
favourable to both the parties, which were the payment 
of a rent of Rs. 200 per month, and the defrayal of 


the whole expense of a thorough repair at a heavy- 
outlay involving additions and alterations." 

Here on the 4th March, 1844, the General Assembly's 
Institution of the Free Church of Scotland met for the 
first time, and here it grew till on an adjoining site 
the present fine college was reared. There were the 
same missionaries, the same staff of teachers and 
monitors, the same converts to begin with, and more 
than a thousand students and pupils. The spacious 
hall, erst devoted to idol revelries, became the common 
place of worship of the living God in Christ. The 
shrine of the family image received the gallery class 
of children, who there learned to spell out the words of 
the Divine Teacher. From all parts of Eastern India 
and Scotland friends sent supplies of books for the 
new library. Dr. Mackay, who had built his usual 
observatory on the roof, was gladdened by the dona- 
tion of a Herschel ten-foot telescope from the son of 
Dr. Stewart, of Moulin memory. 

Dr. Duffs letters to Dr. Gordon, after reporting 
the tedious search and protracted negotiations which 
ended in success, thus broke forth on the 17th Feb- 
ruary, 1844, as he, doubtless, remembered the flash of 
the torch in the Tummel: "Never was there a happier 
or truer key-note struck than that with which Dr. 
Chalmers ushered in the ever memorable convocation, 
when he started with the text, ' Unto the upright there 
ariseth light in darkness.'" Even when in the depths 
of the darkness, he had faith and genius to form the 
scheme of a new chair of missions and education in 
the Free Church, of which he lived to procure the 
endowment and to be himself the first Professor : 

" Calcutta, January 20th 9 1844. 

" My Dear Dr. Gordon, — Your truly welcome letter 
of October last was received in time last month to 

44 LIFE 0F DR » DUFF. 1844. 

acknowledge its receipt by the Government express. 
As I expected, it diffused great joy and gladness among 
all our friends. The promptitude, hearty goodwill 
and animating cheerfulness, — the unwavering faith in 
a covenant-keeping God, and the humble reliance on a 
gracious Providence indicated by its contents, tended 
mightily to invigorate our own spirits, and strengthen 
our hands, amid the changes, the discomforts and the 
inconveniences to which the recent disruption neces- 
sarily subjected us. We do render praise and thanks 
unto the Lord, for having put it into the hearts of our 
brethren and fathers at home to take up our cause, — 
the cause of poor, degraded, heathen India, — the cause 
of a hundred and thirty millions of perishing idolaters, 
— the cause of the Redeemer Himself, Who yet ' shall 
see of the travail of His soul ' among these benighted 
millions, and be satisfied, — to take up this great and 
glorious cause, with such warmth and energy and 
holy zeal. It is a refreshing token for good ; yea, it 
is a pledge and earnest of prosperity and ultimate suc- 
cess. When, during the spring of last year, I received 
many letters from friends on both sides of the Church, 
all to the effect that, in the event of a disruption, those 
who seceded would have so much to do in making 
provision for their own spiritual wants that it would 
not be possible for them to take up the cause of foreign 
missions, I could not but feel alarmed at the bare 
possibility of such an issue. That it would be so I 
could not bring myself to believe. Still, the declara- 
tions made to me on this head were very strong and 
very baffling. In spite of the most positive assurances 
to the contrary, I had a secret, instinctive, irresistible 
persuasion that the thing was morally impossible. 
Thanks be to God that the event has so triumphantly 
proved it to be so ! The prominence given to the 
missionary cause at home and abroad, and the bold 


trumpet note with which its claims have been sounded 
forth, proclaim that the Free Church of Scotland has 
started for the right goal, and in the right direction; 
and that having done so, she is destined to advance, 
with accelerative force, in the vigorous discharge of 
all the functions and duties of a true Church of Christ. 
May the Lord Himself watch over and guide her 
onward career ! 

" Connected with this subject, allow me to hint that 
a new professorship in the Free Church College, of 
missions and education, would tend mightily to im- 
part life, energy, wisdom and consistency to all her 
missionary and educational schemes, domestic and 
foreign. So far as I know, it would be the first pro- 
fessorship of the kind that has ever been established, 
and would tend more than anything else to stamp the 
Free Church as the introducer of a new era in the 
history of this world's christianization. I have pur- 
posely conjoined • missions and education,' as both 
united would comprehend a discussion of the best 
modes of imparting all useful knowledge, human and 
divine, to old and young, of all classes and of all climes, 
founded on the constitution of the human mind, history 
and experience, and, above all, the Word of God. 

" We also desire to acknowledge the overruling 
providence of God, in the circumstance that our dear 
friend and brother, and fellow -labourer in the Lord, 
Dr. Wilson of Bombay, was enabled to be present to 
address the second General Assembly of the Free 
Church. And we desire to bless God for the strength 
vouchsafed to him on that occasion." 




The Bural Stations. — The Story of Bansberia. — Missionary Brother- 
hood. — Sir James Outram and the Sindh Prize-money. — Sir 
Henry Lawrence. — Reorganization of the Mission Completed. — 
Conversions and their Relative Value in Christianizing different 
Classes. — The Seven Baptisms. — The Native City again moved. 
Rival Hindoo College tanght by Jesuits. — The True Zanana 
Teaching. — The " Pilgrim's Progress " in Bengalee. — Suecessf ul 
Vindication of the Rights of Conscience. — The Cry of " Hindooism 
in Danger " Renewed. — The Government Propagating Secularism. 
— Intolerance of the Hindoo Priestly and Wealthy Families. — 
More Baptisms. — Dr. Duff's Life Threatened. — His Intrepid Re- 
ply "to the Native Gentlemen of Calcutta." — Necessity for a 
Home, Church, and Manse for the Converts. — Life in Dr. Duff's 
Family. — Charge to the Four Free Church Catechists. — Mrs. 
Colin Mackenzie and the Rev. Goluk Nath. — Mercantile Failures 
in Calcutta. — Epistle from the General Assembly to the Converts. 
— Dr. Duff's Share in the First Jubilee of the Church Missionary 

Having thus founded and organized his second college, 
the Free Church General Assembly's Institution, Dr. 
Duff's next care was for the branch schools by which 
the educated catechists and converts were evangelizing 
the rural districts. Takee, the first, was the property 
of the Chowdery clan of Hindoo landholders. They 
too remained faithful to their alliance with Dr. Duff. 
To secure a healthier position in which European mis- 
sionaries like Mr. Fyfe could live without serious risk, 
they removed the school from the somewhat inaccessible 
rice swamps to their town residence in Baranuggur, a 
northern suburb of Calcutta, now known for its jute 
factories and industrial prosperity. The Established 


Church claimed the new station of Ghospara for the 
congregation of St. Stephen's, Edinburgh, who had 
supported Mahendra and Kailas, the native missionaries 
there. But Culna, being in a different position, was 
retained by Dr. Duff and his colleagues as their second 
rural station. In succession, as the Mission grew in 
resources and ordained converts, Bansberia, Chinsurah, 
and Mahanad were added in Lower Bengal, while, 
long after, the south-eastern districts of the Santal 
country were taken possession of as a base from which 
to evangelize the non-Aryan and aboriginal tribes. 

The story of Bansberia illustrates the enthusiasm 
with which, not only in Calcutta, but to the farthest 
confines of India, good men, in the army and the civil 
service, sought to mark their sympathy with the Free 
Church Mission. On being driven from Ghospara, 
where the two ablest converts had begun a mission 
among the new sect of the Kharta-bhajas, or worship- 
pers of the Creator, with such promise, Dr. Duff re- 
solved to seek for a settlement in another county. 
Not even the natural irritation caused by the discussion 
of questions of property, in which equity was set at 
defiance, tempted him for one moment to dream of 
rivalry in a field so vast as that covered by the sixty 
millions of rural Bengal. He crossed the river Hooghly 
to its right bank, leaving the whole country on the left 
to the Established Church. A few miles to the north 
of the county town of Hooghly district, between that 
and Culna, he discovered the school-house of the 
Brumho Somaj, of Calcutta, closed and for sale. 
Dwarkanath Tagore, the successor of B-ammohun Hoy, 
had died in England, and his son was unable to maintain 
the educational work of the sect. *The perpetual lease 
of the grounds as well as the large bungalow was pur- 
chased by Dr. Duff, whose first object it was to erect sub- 
stantial buildings for a Christian high school. For this 

4 8 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

there were no funds since the expenditure at Ghospara. 
Attracted by the self-sacrifice of the missionaries on 
the Disruption, Mr. Lennox, of New York, and his 
two sisters, had sent £500 to Dr. Duff, who at once 
distributed it proportionately among Bombay, Madras 
and Calcutta. Mr. Anderson and his colleagues re- 
fused the share allotted to them, on the ground of " the 
peculiar exigency and the local circumstances of the 
Calcutta Mission. Give us your prayers and keep the 
money; we have enough, my brother, — what is that 
between thee and us ? " Such loviug renunciation 
called forth this remark from Dr. Duff in a letter to 
Dr. Gordon : 

" A finer exemplification of the genuine spirit that 
constitutes the bond of Christian brotherhood cannot 
well be conceived. How true it is that, in the spiritual 
body of Christ, if one of the members suffer all the 
other members suffer or sympathize with it. Distance 
of space and diversities of local interests are annihil- 
ated. The losses and difficulties of the Calcutta mis- 
sionaries touched a chord in the hearts of three noble- 
minded Christians in the city of New York — in ' the 
far west.' Now, across the Atlantic and the interven- 
ing continents of Europe, Africa, and part of Asia, 
their seasonable bounty reached us. We at once 
resolved to share it in equal proportion with our 
brethren in Madras and Bombay. The former having 
not suffered in temporalities as we had, return their 
share, with their blessings and their prayers. Blessed 
reciprocation and interchange of Christian good offices, 
and Christian love ! Shall we not magnify the name 
of the Lord, and pray more earnestly than ever for 
the spread and superabounding of a spirit such as this 
— not between members of the Free Church only, but 
between the true children of the living God in all 
Churches. ,, 


Soon the present fine college building of their own 
was to take the place of the hired house in Calcutta, 
and that would exhaust this and many other re- 
sources. There could be nothing for a new rural 
station like Bansberia till the central Institution was 

It was Sir James, then Major, Outram who came to 
the rescue. The first Afghan war had been succeeded 
by the even greater mistake of the policy of Sir Charles 
Napier in Sindh. The man who had written, "We 
have no right to seize Sindh, yet we shall do so, 
and a very advantageous, useful and humane piece of 
rascality it will be," received six thousand pounds as 
the General's portion of the prize-money. The Bom- 
bay officer who had protested against the ' rascality,' 
whose splendid administration of Sindh would have 
prevented war and secured a reformed country, had 
assigned to him three thousand pounds as his share. 
What was he to do with it? Though a Derbyshire 
man, three years older than Duff, as a great-grandson 
of Lord Pitmedden and a successful student of Marischal 
College, Aberdeen, Outram had watched the Scottish 
missionary's career with admiration. The puzzled 
officer turned to him for counsel as to the disposal 
of the money ; begging him in particular to ascertain 
privately if the Calcutta authorities would keep the 
three thousand pounds for* the benefit of the injured 
Ameers. We may imagine the amazement, and indig- 
nation, of Lord Ellenborough at a proposal so simple, 
but so worthy of " the Bayard of India " and of the 
single-eyed missionary whom he had selected as his 
agent in so unique a transaction. The reply was, of 
course, a refusal, on the ground that the Ameers had 
been well provided for, and that the offer, if it became 
public, would have the worst political effect. The fact, 
accordingly, we learn now for the first time from Dr. 


50 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1845. 

Duff's papers.* When he communicated the refusal, 
Outram replied: "Very well, it cannot be helped; I 
regard this prize simply as blood-money, and will not 
touch a farthing of it for my own personal use, but 
will distribute it among the philanthropic and religious 
charities of Bombay." Soon after this Sir James 
wrote to Dr. Duff saying that, after a wide distribution 
of what he called blood-money, there still remained 
Rs. 6,000, and he asked, " Have you any object on the 
banks of the Ganges to which this can profitably be 
applied?" Instantly Dr. Duff replied, " Oh, yes! I 
want an educational institution in a populous locality 
on the banks of the river in an excellent situation, and 
have been waiting a considerable time to secure the 
means of erecting a suitable building. Now singularly 
enough the minimum sum fixed on in my own mind 
was exactly Rs. 6,000, and if you approve the idea you 
may send that sum to me, and we shall commence at 
once the erection of the buildiDg." The Mission-house 
was erected, and has been a source of numberless bless- 
ings to the neighbourhood; from its pupils a goodly 
number of conversions have sprung with a wide dif- 
fusion of Christian knowledge. The building still per- 
petuates the political purity and English uprightness 
of Outram, who replied, " What a pity I did not know 
about this earlier, otherwise for such objects, of which 
I highly approve, you might have got the whole of 
the money." When next he visited Calcutta, where 
Lord Dalhousie saw in him a kindred spirit, he 
spent a Saturday in the Institution. The man whose 
courage as a soldier and a statesman rose almost to 
madness, stipulated that he should not be asked to 
make a speech. The resting-place in Westminster 

* Sir Francis Outram has arranged for- the preparation of a 
Memoir of liis great father, by Sir Frederic Goldsmid. 


Abbey, and the equestrian statues by Foley on the 
Thames Embankment and fronting the Calcutta Clubs, 
commemorate his victories in Persia and the relief of 
Lucknow. But let not the Sindh blood-money and 
Duff's Bansberia school be forgotten, though recorded 
not on living marble or enduring brass. 

A greater man than even Outram, however, was 
from the first a generous ally of Dr. Duff. Sir Henry 
Lawrence, who had found Christ when a young lieu- 
tenant of artillery at Dum Dum, and who had established 
at Ferozepore the American Presbyterian Mission 
from which the invitation to united prayer first 
sounded forth in 1860 among all English-speaking 
races, used to spend his whole income, beyond a bare 
sustenance, on Christian philanthropy in India. Every 
year from 1844 till he concentrated his energies on the 
Hill Asylums for soldiers' children, he sent four hun- 
dred pounds to Mr. Marshman for distribution among 
Dr. Duff's, the Serampore, the Church Missionary and 
other societies. At the same time others, such as Dr. T. 
Smith and the writer, were his frequent almoners down 
to the day of his heroic death. On his way home, in 
1847, he took part in the public examination of the 
Institution, a fact to which we find Dr. Duff thus refer- 
ring at the time: " The Colonel Lawrence who assisted 
at the public examination is the same gentleman 
whose measures have been so wonderfully successful 
in pacifying the Punjab. He is to accompany Lord 
Hardin ge to England. For years past he has taken 
a warm interest in our Institution and its success, and 
has been a liberal contributor to its funds. In this 
and in other ways God is raising us up friends, even 
in high places ; and to Him we desire to ascribe all 
the praise and the glory." 

On his final return to India the year after, he and 
Outram, then seeking rest, hurriedly met in the dim- 

52 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1845. 

ness of night in the desert of Suez, with impressions 
which Lady Lawrence thus recorded for her eldest 
son : " Oar vans stopped ; papa got out, and in the 
twilight had ten minutes' talk with Colonel Outram. 
There is much alike in. their characters, but Colonel 
Outram has had peculiar opportunities of protesting 
against tyranny, and he has refused to enrich himself 
by ill-gotten gains. You cannot, my boy, understand 
the question about the conquest of Sindh by Sir 
Charles Napier ; but I wish you to know that your 
parents consider it most unjust. Prize-money has 
been distributed to those concerned in the war. 
Colonel Outram, though a very poor man, would not 
take money which he did not think rightfully his, and 
distributed all his share in charity, giving £800 to the 
Hill Asylum at Kussowlie. I was glad, even in the 
dark, to shake hands with one whom I esteemed so 

Thus Dr. Duff and his colleagues organized the 
second Mission in and around Calcutta, and among 
the most densely peopled portions of rural Asia — the 
counties of Hooghly and Burdwan to the north-west. 
" Oh," he wrote to Dr. Gordon, " that we had the 
resources, in qualified agents and pecuniary means, 
with large, prayerful, faithful hearts, to wait on the 
Lord for His blessing, and then under the present 
impulse might we, in every considerable village and 
district of Bengal, establish vernacular and English 
seminaries, that might sow the seeds of divine truth 
in myriads of minds, and thus preoccupy them with 
principles hostile to ruinous error and favourable for 
the reception of saving knowledge. But to this end 
we would require not five hundred but fifty thousand 
for this Presidency alone. It looks like something 
utterly unattainable, yet the cost of one British vice 
for a single year — the annual sum expended on 


ardent spirits, which destroy the bodies and the souls 
of thousands — would secure to us over fifty thousand 
schools!" Nearly thirty years were to pass before, 
in Bengal proper, the Government did its duty on the 
secular side, and the Mutiny called the Vernacular 
Christian Education Society into existence to supply 
Bible schools, trained teachers and a pure literature, 
all on too small a scale. 

And now, as ever, Dr. Duff and all the Free Church 
of Scotland's missionaries in its three colleges and 
many schools, laboured and prayed for immediate 
conversions as the sign and the fruit of the Spirit's 
blessing on their patient sapping of the whole spiritual 
and social system of Brahmanism. Referring to the 
baptism of a student, which had temporarily emptied 
the college in Madras, Dr. Duff wrote : " It must 
never be forgotten, that, while the salvation of one 
soul may not in itself be more precious than that of 
another, there is a prodigious difference in the relative 
amount of practical value possessed by the conversion 
of individuals of different classes, as regards its effect 
on society at large. It is this consideration, duly 
weighed, which explains the immense relative import- 
ance of the conversions that have taken place in 
connection with our several Institutions at Calcutta, 
Madras and Bombay. The number has been compa- 
ratively small. But the amount of general influence 
excited thereby must not be estimated according to 
the number. The individuals converted have be- 
longed to such classes and castes that the positive 
influence of their conversion in shaking Hindooism and 
convulsing Hindoo society has been vastly greater than 
it might have been if hundreds or even thousands of 
a different class or caste had been added to the Church 
of Christ. While therefore it is our duty to pray for 
immediate results, if the Lord will — to ' attempt and 

54 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1845. 

expect great things ' at His hands, — let us beware of 
being impatient. The Lord is working silently in the 
midst of us ; and when His time cometh He will make 
bare His holy arm for the salvation of multitudes. 
Meanwhile those occasional upheavings and convul- 
sions which apparently retard the progress of His 
cause He sovereignly overrules for its ultimate further- 
ance.' ' That was written in April, 1844. In July 
there came to Dr. Duff's house one Gobindo Chunder 
Das, who had been removed from the old Institution 
during a panic caused by the baptisms of 1839. For 
six years the truth wrestled with the lad, overthrew 
now his timidity and now his pride, and sent him to 
Dr. Duff under strong convictions of sin and a firm 
resolution to sacrifice all for Christ. After the usual 
persecution by his family and clan he was received 
into the church and became a useful teacher in the 
college. He was the first-fruit of the Free Church Mis- 
sion as to his baptism, yet the change had been really 
originated in the old General Assembly's Institution. 
Every convert as well as every missionary thus main- 
tained the continuity of the work which had begun in 
July, 1830, in the Chitpore road. 

The conversion and baptism of young men of 
marked ability and high social or caste position now 
followed so fast on Gobindo' s that, once again, the 
Brahmanical community of Calcutta was moved to its 
depths. The year 1845 opened with the public confession 
and admission of Gooroo Das Maitra, whom Dr. Duff 
gladly made over to the American Presbyterian Mis- 
sion at Lahore, when the Punjab became a British 
province soon after. There the Bengalee was ordained 
as a missionary minister. Thence he was long after 
" called," after the simple custom and ecclesiastical 
law of the spiritually independent Free Church, by 
the Bengalee Presbyterian Church in Calcutta, to be 


their minister. To them, largely supporting him, he 
still devotes his life as preacher and pastor. At the 
same time Umesh Chunder Sirkar sought baptism. 
For two years the Bible teaching in the college 
had disturbed him, and had so drawn him towards 
Christ that his alarmed friends urged him to study 
Paine' s writings. These completed his conviction of 
the divine truth of Christianity, and of his duty to 
profess that conviction openly by obeying Christ's 
command. But he was young, only sixteen. He 
longed to instruct and take over with him his child- 
wife of ten, and his father was a stern bigot, of great 
authority and influence as treasurer to the millionnaire 
Mullik family. For two years, therefore, the boy- 
husband and his wife searched the Scriptures dili- 
gently in the midnight hours snatched from sleep, 
when alone, in the crowd of a great Bengalee house- 
hold, they could count on secrecy, though ever sus- 
pected. After much reading of the Bengalee Bible, 
Umesh Chunder taught her the Bengalee translation 
of the " Pilgrim's Progress." * Here was the true 
zanana teaching, the best form of female education, 
that which has rendered all subsequent progress under 
English-speaking ladies possible. When the wife of 
twelve read the opening description of Christian's 
flight from the City of Destruction, she exclaimed, " Is 

* The greatest of human allegories has been translated into every 
principal Indian Vernacular. It has, in the East as in the West, 
proved to be the most popular Christian book nexb to the Bible. 
Mrs. Sherwood, wife of an Indian officer, and the well-known story- 
w r riter of the last generation, wrote, in English, a curious adaptation 
of it for the use of the natives, called "The Indian Pilgrim; or, the 
Progress of the Pilgrim Nazareenee from the City of the Wrath of 
God to the City of Mount Zion." But that the genius of Bunyan 
has made his Dream as suitable to the Oriental as to the Western, 
without such tampering with it, is shown by the popularity of the 
" Pilgrim's Progress " even with non-Christian Asiatics. 

56 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1845. 

not this exactly our condition ? Are not we now 
lingering in the City of Destruction ? Is it not our 
duty to act like Christian — to arise, forsake all, and 
flee for our lives ?" On the next idol festival, when 
even Hindoo married women are allowed liberty 
enough to visit their female caste friends in neigh- 
bouring houses in closed palankeens, Umesh conducted 
his true-hearted little wife to Dr. Duff's house. The 
then deceased Mahendra had supplied the copy of 
Bunyan's "Pilgrim" which had thus been blessed, and 
the more recent convert, Jugadishwar, had assisted 
Umesh in the flight. They came to the missionary's 
house on the Sabbath afternoon, on the close of a 
prayer meeting which one of the elders of the Free 
Church congregation, Mr. J. C. Stewart, son of Dr. 
Stewart of Moulin, used to hold with the converts. 
" While meditating in my own closet on the ways of 
God," Dr. Duff wrote afterwards, " and wondering 
whether and in what way He might graciously inter- 
pose to deliver us from our distresses, suddenly 
Umesh, his wife and Jugadishwar appeared before 
me. It looked like the realization of a remarkable 
dream. ' The Lord be praised/ said I. What could 
I say less ? His mercy endureth for ever. He had 
visited and holpen His servants." 

Now began a tumult such as no previous case, not 
even Gopeenath's, had excited. Dr. Duff's house was 
literally besieged. The Mulliks as well as the Sirkars, 
both families or clans, and their Brahmans, beset the 
young man. They attempted violence, so that the gate 
was shut next day to all but the father, the brother, 
and the wealthy chief of the Mulliks. For days this 
went on, for the missionary would not deny to the 
new convert's family that which was the only weapon 
he claimed for Christ — persuasion. At last the scene 
changed to the Supreme Court. Choosing his time 


when the court was rising for the day, the father's 
counsel moved for a writ of habeas corpus to be 
directed to Dr. Duff to produce Umesh Chunder, on 
the affidavit that the youth was only a little more than 
fourteen years of age, and was kept in illegal restraint. 
The Chief Justice himself was on the bench, and Mr. 
Macleod Wylie happened not to have left the court. 
Sir Lawrence Peel, worthy to be the cousin of a states- 
man like Sir Eobert, knew that Dr. Duff would not 
exercise restraint of any kind. Suspecting the truth 
of the affidavit, he investigated the case at once, and 
the writ was refused. The youth was really above 
eighteen years of age. There was no question raised 
as to his wife. Both were baptized, while a crowd of 
the Mulliks' followers raged outside, and their chief 
and the convert's father declined to be witnesses of the 
solemn service. In Bengal at least this was " the 
first instance of a respectable Hindoo and his wife 
being both admitted at the same time, on a profession 
of their own faith, into the Church of Christ by bap- 
tism." And the husband had brought the wife into 
the one fold. So, after the presentation by Gopeenath 
and his wife of their boy for baptism, the creation 
of the Christian family in the very heart of Brah- 
manism became complete. Silently is the little leaven 
leavening the whole lump. 

A week after, the tumult was repeated in the case 
of one who had been a student for eight years, and 
is now the Rev. Baikunta Nath Day, of Culna. He 
found refuge with Dr. Thomas Smith, then residing 
in the suburbs of Calcutta. Thence, in the missionary's 
absence, he was forcibly abducted, and was imprisoned, 
in chains, in a distant relative's house. Mr. Wylie 
obtained a writ of habeas corpus, but it was found im- 
possible to execute that, as happened about the same 
time in Dr. Wilson's case in Bombay. Meanwhile 

58 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1845. 

against Christ and the chains Baikunta's family set 
all the sensual pleasures in which idolatry is so fertile. 
As Dr. Duff reported the case, " every attempt was 
made not only to pervert the mind, but corrupt the 
very morals of the young man — in order, if possible, 
to unfit him for becoming a member of the' visible 
Church of Christ. What a testimony to the purity 
of Christianity ! — the very heathen practically confess- 
ing that impurity and uncleanness are incompatible 
with an honest or consistent profession ! and that one 
of the surest ways of preventing a person from becom- 
ing a Christian, is to debase his moral feeling, and 
bring the stain of vice on his character ! What a 
testimony, on the other hand, against heathenism ! It 
can tolerate any enormity — theft, drunkenness, hypo- 
crisy, debauchery — these, and such like violations of 
the moral law, it can wink at, palliate, or even vindi- 
cate; but to seek for the pardon of sin, and the 
sanctification of a polluted heart, by faith in the Lord 
Jesus Christ, and the open profession of His name — 
this, this it cannot and will not endure, but must visit 
with reproach, ignominy, and persecution even unto 
death ! Happily, however, the young man was en- 
abled to resist all temptations and allurements ; and 
happily, too, he was not overcome, so as to deny or 
be ashamed of the name of Jesus." The place of his 
captivity was discovered, the writ compelled his sur- 
render, and he has since been an earnest teacher and 
accredited preacher of the truth of which he thus 
witnessed a good confession. 

The record, in their own language, of the doubts and 
fears, the aspirations and convictions, the turning 
and the triumph of the converts from Brahmanism 
and Muhammadanism, in India, influenced by all the 
Churches but especially by the Scottish system of 
evangelizing, would form a volume precious to the 


history of Chris tianity, early and later. The Clemen- 
tines and the Confessions of Augustine would have 
many a parallel. We do not doubt that coming 
generations of the Church of India will, in their 
own tongue, thus tell the wonderful works of God. 
But it would be well if the detailed experiences of 
the first converts in Calcutta and Bombay, in Madras 
and Nagpore, in Allahabad and Agra, in Lahore and 
Peshawur, were collected before it is too late. We need 
do no more than mention the names of the three other 
converts who made up the seven faithful ones whom 
Dr. Duffs Free Church College at the opening of the 
second year of its existence sent to the baptismal 
font. These were Banka Behari Bose, Harish Chunder 
Mitter, and Beni Madhub Kur. Nor were Hindoos the 
only converts. Five Jews, headed by Rabbi Isaac, and 
forming an almost patriarchal household, were led by 
an English officer, whom, the Disruption had attracted 
to the Free Church, to seek instruction from Dr. Duff 
and baptism into the name of Jesus the Messiah. 

Again was there raised the cry of " Hindooism in 
danger." The Institution, which in its college and 
school departments had risen to above a thousand in 
daily attendance, and thirteen hundred on the roll, lost 
three hundred youths in one week. In his first cam- 
paign of 1830-34, Dr. Duff had found himself fronted 
by the orthodox Brahmanical families only. But now 
these were reinforced by the wealthy clans of Mulliks 
and Seels, by men of low but respectable castes who, 
under the previous half-century of British rule, had 
risen from the buying and selling of empty beer bottles 
and other European refuse, to become landholders with 
a capital reckoned literally by crores of rupees or miU 
lions sterling. The poverty and greed of the Brahman- 
ical priesthood, allied with the wealth of the socially 
ambitious nouveaux riches, on whom it conferred a 

60 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1845. 

sanctified respectability, became apparently a far more 
formidable opposition than any which, the Scottish 
Missions had yet been called to encounter. Nor was 
this all. Jesuits had invaded the diocese of the Irish 
Roman Catholic bishop, and he was long in getting 
them driven out, only, however, to see them return 
in that greater force which has of late injured the 
true interests of the Papacy in the East. While the 
Brahmans cursed Dr. Duff, their low caste allies, the 
Seels and Mulliks, resolved to establish a rival college. 
They turned to the Jesuits, and to an Irish adventurer 
named Tuite, as the only so-called Christians who 
would consent to teach English and Western science on 
purely secular lines. Thus was established Seel's Free 
College, of which a Mullik is still the secretary, and is 
now so fair as to write in the last report we have seen : 
" I must acknowledge the great benefit which has been 
derived by our children from the efforts of Christian 
missionaries. " Similarly one Gourmohun Addy estab- 
lished the Oriental Seminary as an adventure school. 

Apart from the intolerance and bigotry of the move- 
ment it is deeply to be regretted, and most of all by 
the missionaries, that the natives of India, of all creeds, 
have not thus independently sought to supply educa- 
tion to their children after their own fashion. They 
began to do this in 1818 in the Hindoo College. But 
they always childishly fell back on Government for 
public instruction as for political and administrative 
development. As between them and the missionaries 
a fair grant-in-aid system would have brought out 
the self-reliant natives, and men of Dr. Duff's stamp 
at least had no fear of the issue in so fair a field. 
But as between Government and the missionaries — 
a Government necessarily neutral in principles and 
secular or antichristian in practice — the Churches and 
the Parliament of the governing country see all that is 


good in Hindooism destroyed, while that alone which 
can fill the moral void and supply the spiritual motive 
power is officially discouraged. It is orthodox Hin- 
doos, in each generation, who are the present victims, 
as they bitterly complain. But it is the public security 
and contentment, the national progress and peace, 
which are threatened, as Lord Northbrook and even 
Lord Lytton have lately confessed. The Churches and 
their agents are meanwhile injuriously checked by the 
unparalleled patronage, by the Indian Government, of 
a system of purely secular public instruction, in de- 
fiance of the Despatch of 1854, which Dr. Duff, as we 
shall see, devised as a remedy fair to all. He himself 
must now picture the scene : — 

"Calcutta, July 2, 1845. 

u My Dear Dr. Gordon, — Our Institution is still standing — 
standing out bravely amid the incessant peltings of a storm 
which has continued to rage for two months with scarcely a 
single lull. Thanks be to God for the result ! Shaken it has 
been — severely shaken ; how could it be otherwise ? But the 
real wonder is, that it has not been torn up, root and branch. 
The combination against it has been all but universal, includ- 
ing nearly the whole rank, wealth and power of the native 
community, of all classes, sects and castes. . . . 

« "Were it not for the adhesive force of the attachment of 
our pupils to ourselves and our system, the Institution, as a 
living one, would undoubtedly have been clean swept away. 
Whence, then, this attachment? Solely from the considerate 
kindness with which love to their souls ever prompts us to treat 
them ; and from the nature of the instruction received, both as 
regards its substance and the mode of its conveyance. Only 
let us become cold, lukewarm, or inattentive in our personal 
exertions and intercourse with the pupils ; and let the fulness 
and efficiency of our course of instruction suffer any material 
diminution or abatement; and then, however the Institution 
may rear up its head amid the sunshine and the calm, the very 
first gust of a tempest, like that which has recently swept over 
it, would blow it all away. There is no medium between 

62 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1845. 

doing our work thoroughly and not doing it at all. No exer- 
tion, therefore, and no reasonable expense, should ever be 
spared in maintaining unimpaired the vigour and effectiveness 
of the entire machinery — physical, intellectual, moral and 
religious. On this, humanly speaking, depends the whole 
dynamic force of our well-doing in connection with its vital 
bearings on the mightiest interest of time and eternity. 

" Recent events have also tended strikingly to exhibit the 
weakness and helplessness of Hindooism. Its whole strength, 
in the metropolis of India, has been mustered in hostile array 
against Christianity and its missionaries. Rajas and Zemin- 
dars, Baboos and Brahmans, have all combined, counselled, and 
plotted together. An eye-witness, at one of the great Sabbath 
meetings at which not fewer than two thousand were present, 
assured me that several hundreds consisted of Brahmans, who, 
at times, literally wept and sobbed, and audibly cried out, 
saying ' that the religion of Brahma was threatened with de- 
struction, and that, unless energetic measures were instantly 
adopted, their vocation would soon be at an end ! ' In such 
a desperate crisis of affairs, what plans might naturally suggest 
themselves to men upborne by a penetrating consciousness of 
the rectitude of their own cause ? Would it not be the insti- 
tuting of a public lectureship, or some other engine for ex- 
posing the claims and pretensions of the so much dreaded 
Christianity? — the contemporaneous establishing of lecture- 
ships, professorships, or other appropriate means for expound- 
ing, inculcating, and upholding the tenets and peculiarities of 
the Hindoo religion and ritual? But no; the prevailing taste 
is not found, after all, to lie in this way ; a new current is dis- 
covered setting in a contrary direction. The grand object is 
to crush Christianity and perpetuate Hindooism. And how is 
this end to be compassed by the united wisdom of Hindoo 
princes, nobles, and sages ? By founding an English college 
for the teaching of European literature and science ! They have 
done the worst which they could against us ; and this is the 
worst ! In other words, the most effective measure which, in 
the present state of things in the metropolis of British India, 
the confederated votaries of Hindooism have been able to con- 
trive against Christianity — its encroachments and threatened 
successes — has been to originate a new scheme of English 
education ! — a scheme which, from its exclusion of Christianity 


may, in the first instance, be, or appear to be, hostile to it ; 
but which, in the long run, will by no means be found neces- 
sarily hostile, and often positively friendly ; while, in the end, 
it is sure to prove absolutely ruinous and suicidal as regards 
Hindooism ! In briefer and plainer words still — the only way 
at present in Calcutta for upholding Hindooism, is to establish 
a system which must eventually prove fatal to it ! What a 
singular commentary does this one fact furnish on the extra- 
ordinary peculiarity of the presence, position, and destiny of 
the British power in India ! Surely there are mysteries of Pro- 
vidence here to call for the gravest reflection, while they baffle 
all our efforts adequately to comprehend or conceive them ! 

" Recent events have also supplied fresh evidence of the 
importance of Calcutta as a centre of operations — a focus of 
emanative influences. To it, as the emporium of commerce, 
and the seat of the supreme government as well as of the 
supreme courts of review, natives resort from all parts of 
Eastern India. These keep up a regular and extensive corre- 
spondence with their respective homes. In this way intelli- 
gence of all movements and occurrences here is rapidly con- 
veyed to all parts of the country. A few days sufficed to make 
the principal stations, and many of the obscurest villages in 
Bengal, acquainted with the general drift and character of 
recent measures, and their originating causes. Not later than 
yesterday, I happened to receive a letter from a gentleman at 
a remote station, considerably beyond Allahabad, in the upper 
provinces. He states that the great anti- missionary movement, 
or rather Anti-Free-Church-Institution movement in Calcutta, 
almost immediately affected the missionary schools there. 
Some natives of that place, presently resident in Calcutta, had 
written to their friends, apprizing them of all that had happened, 
and urging them to sound the alarm far and wide, with the 
view of withdrawing all children from the missionary schools. 
Many took the alarm, and acted on the advice ; so that for a 
few weeks the schools were seriously affected. The panic, 
however, was gradually abating ; and it was expected that ere 
long all would return. Who may not perceive in these suc- 
cessive waves of alarm rolling over, the great Gangetic valley, 
containing more than half the population of all India — stirring 
up the dormant myriads into something like wakefulness, 
originating new and unwonted inquiries, suggesting now 

64 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1845. 

thoughts, introducing new ideas, and leading to new and 
strange forebodings of future change — who may not perceive 
in all this one of the many providential preparations for the 
ultimate and more effective propagation of the Gospel itself? 
And what is true of Calcutta is, in a corresponding measure, 
true of Madras and Bombay. 

" How often does the Word of God assure us that, sooner or 
later, the wicked shall be taken in their own craftiness, and 
fall into the pit which they have dug for others ! An instruc- 
tive example of this has occurred in connection with the recent 
antichristian movement. The united meeting of Hindoos had 
resolved to draw up a written form of agreement, which, under 
the threat of excommunication, or loss of caste, was to be 
forced on the parents and guardians of pupils attending our 
Institution. In compulsorily signing this agreement, they were 
to bind themselves to remove the pupils from ours, and send 
them to the new college. This agreement was regarded as the 
grand bond of union and strength to the confederacy, and the 
surest guarantee of the success of its leading scheme. Well, 
the agreement was formally drawn up. Its principal concocter 
happened to be a leader of the Brahma Sobha, or Vedant 
school of Hindooism, which professes to worship one supreme 
something, called Brahma. Now, from unchanging hereditary 
usage, every written document among the natives, however 
commonplace, must be headed by the name or designation of 
one or other of the popular deities. In this part of India it is 
usually that of Ganesha, the god of wisdom, or one or other of 
the names of the favourite Krishna, one of the incarnations of 
Vishnoo. Consistently with their own professions, the members 
of the Brahma Sobha could not employ any of these. Brahma, 
or any one of his peculiar designations, is their symbol. On 
the present occasion, however, no peculiar symbol of the 
Brahma Sobha could be introduced, as that would offend and 
irritate the members of the Dharma Sobha, the devoted up- 
holders of polytheism in its grossest forms. It would also be 
objected to by the colluvies of individuals who belong to neither 
of these Sobhas. Accordingly, the author of the written 
agreement and his coadjutors thought they had solved the 
difficulty by proposing to insert, at the head of the document, 
the simple term for ' God/ viz., Ishwar. This, they con- 
cluded, would suit all parties, and each might then put what 


interpretation on the word he pleased. An adherent of the 
Brahma Sobha might suppose it meant Brahma, the supreme 
god ; an adherent of the Dharma Sobha might suppose it 
meant any one of the gods in the Hindoo Pantheon ; an ad- 
herent of neither might suppose it meant the god of his system, 
whether that were Nature, Necessity, Chance, or any other 
equally preposterous phantom. With the capacious latitu- 
dinarian superscription of Ishivar, or ' God/ therefore, the 
agreement was put in circulation. Reaching the gooroo, or 
Brahmanical spiritual guide of the Raja Rhadakant Deb — a 
genuine representative of the uncompromising orthodoxy of 
the age of the Rishis, or divine sages, and Manu — he at once 
snuffed heresy in the document. ' What innovation is this ? ' 
exclaimed he, in conservative ire; ' what strange innovation is 
this ? Who ever heard of the simple term Ishivar being at the 
head of an orthodox document ? No, no ; this must be some 
new symbol of the Brahma Sobha ; and by inserting it here, 
they wish to entrap us and commit us to their newfangled 
fancies. No, no ; this will not do at all.' So saying, in sub- 
stance, he seized his genuine calam or reed-pen, blotted out 
the term Ishwar, a ad substituted, Sri Sri Hari, one of the 
appellations of Krishna. The document then proceeded on 
its travels. It soon fell into the hands of a member of the 
Brahma Sobha. 'What ! ' exclaimed he in his turn, 'What ! 
sign a document with Sri Sri Hari at the head of it V — Hari, 
whose most notable exploits were the running away with 
the clothes of a poor washerman, and the playing all sorts of 
fantastic pranks with sixteen thousand milkmaids! 'No, no; 
this will never do. To sign a document so headed, would be to 
re-commit me to a formal sanctioning of all the gods and 
goddesses whose worship, as a member of the Brahma Sobha, 
I profess to slight or despise/ So saying, he must needs 
scratch out the obnoxious Sri Sri Hari, and re- introduce 
Ishwar instead. At length matters threatened to come to 
an open rupture. The subject was fully debated at a public 
meeting. It was there so far compromised. The wound, 
however, was only patched np — not healed. And though, 
from fear of failure, policy and other causes, an outward truce 
has apparently been the result, it has left a fatal sore, that 
keeps rankling within, and may some day unpleasantly show. 
Thus ib has happened that the agreement which was expected 

66 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1847. 

to form the very bond of union and strength, has been so 
overruled as to prove a source of jealousy, rivalry and weak- 
ness ! " 

After a lull for two years, the opposition was again 
fanned, by further baptisms, into a flame which threat- 
ened the destruction of Dr. Duff himself. Uma Churn 
Ghose, baptized by the Rev. Mr. Macdonald just before 
death removed that saintly man, was made over to 
the Church Missionary Society, for service at Jubbul- 
pore. Then followed, in 1847, four baptisms, by Dr. 
Duff, of Koolin Brahmans — Pran Kissen Gangooly, 
since employed at Arrah; Kalee Das Chukurbutty, 
sent to Hyderabad as a teacher ; Judoo Nath Ban- 
erjea, who became treasurer of the Small Cause 
Court at Kooshtea ; and Shib Chunder Banerjea. 
The last has ever since been one of the most faithful 
catechists and preachers yet given to the Church of 
India. Labouring with his hands like Paul, that lie 
may be at no man's charges, and trusted by the 
Government he serves in its treasury, alike at Calcutta 
and Simla, the zealous, eloquent Rev. Shib Chunder 
Banerjea gives all his leisure to evangelizing his 
countrymen. With his name we may here associate 
that of a convert of 1850, who was baptized after 
Soorjya Koomar Haldar, head-master of a school, and 
Deena Nath Adhya, a Government deputy magistrate. 
Shyama Churn Mookerjea showed all the manly as well 
as Christian virtues which Macaulay failed to find in 
the Bengalee. Having embraced Christ with the whole 
strength of his nature, and being denied his wife in 
the absence of the Christian marriage and divorce law 
passed too late for his case, he visited this country to 
study as an engineer, shouldered his rifle as a volunteer 
in Agra Fort during the Mutiny, and has since been 
the generous friend of his poorer Christian countrymen. 
He started a native mission of his own in East Bengal, 


and lie is now the popular hymn-writer for and man- 
ager of those 'keertuns' or services of sacred song by 
which, every Sabbath evening, hundreds of Hindoos 
are attracted to hear the gospel in the Institution 
where he himself found Christ. To all the new con- 
versions of 1847 was added the first in Dr. Duff's old 
Institution since it had been opened by the Established 
Church — the baptism of one of his old students. That 
resulted in the defeat of the Hindoo application for 
a writ of habeas corpus, the youth having reached 
the years of discretion. The old animosity, fed by 
terror, burst out, and all native Calcutta held what 
the English daily papers called " an antichristian 
meeting," a " Hindoo demonstration against the Mis- 
sionaries and Christianity.' ' The Hurkdru thus re- 
ported the scene on Sunday the 19th September, 1848 : 
" The meeting was crowded to excess by a curious 
and motley group of natives, of every caste and creed. 
There was the Gosain, with his head full of Jaydeva, 
and the amorous feats of his sylvan deity ; the Tan- 
trist, still heated with the bhackra or Bacchanalian 
carousal of the preceding night; the educated Free- 
thinker, as ignorant of God as he was of the world 
when at college ; the Vedantist, combining, in himself, 
the unitarianism of the Vedist with the liberalism of 
the Freethinker — all assembled under the general 
appellation of Hindoo, to* adopt proposals of the best 
means for the oppression of the common enemy. The 
proceedings began with Raja Rhadakant Deb taking 
the chair. It was resolved that a society be formed, 
named the Hindoo Society, and that, in the first in- 
stance, each of the heads of castes, sects, and parties 
at Calcutta, orthodox as well as heterodox, should, as 
members of the said society, sign a certain covenant, 
binding him to take strenuous measures to prevent 
any person belonging to his caste, sect, or party, from 

68 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1848. 

educating his son or ward at any of the missionary 
institutions at Calcutta, on pain of excommunication 
from the said caste, or sect, or party. Many of such 
heads present signed the covenant. It was presumed 
that the example will be soon followed by the inhabi- 
tants of the Mofussil. One of the orthodox party 
present at the meeting said, after its dissolution, 
addressing himself to the boys present — ' Babas, be 
followers of one God; that is, Vedantists. Eat 
whatever you like, do whatever you like, but be not 
a Christian. " 

Such of the British residents in Calcutta thirty years 
ago as still survive, have a lively recollection of the ter- 
rorism of that time in the native quarter. The favour- 
ite and the familiar mode of attacking private enemies 
and redressing private wrongs, in defiance of the law, 
was by hiring latteeals, or club-men. The courts in the 
interior were then few, and comparatively powerless. 
Native landholders and British indigo-planters thus, 
too often, settled their differences about lands and 
crops, for the East India Company was too conserva- 
tive to keep pace with administrative and legislative 
necessities. But in Calcutta the Supreme Court had 
administered English criminal and sectarian civil law, 
ever since the dread days of Sir Elijah Impey, with 
stern impartiality. There, at least, there was quiet. 
Nevertheless, so determined were the orthodox and 
the vicious Hindoo majority to stop these conversions, 
that some of them plotted to get rid of the great 
cause of them all, as they supposed, Dr. Duff. Mr. 
Seton-Karr, then a young civilian, still recalls to us 
" the great stir made by some conversions, and the 
threats of a physical attack by latteeals to be made 
on Dr. Duff, to which he replied with his characteristic 
intrepidity." Having previously discussed " the new 
anti-missionary movement " in letters to the Hurharu, 


signed " Indophilus," under the same name Dr. Duff 
addressed this "statement and appeal," this "word 
of faithful and firm, yet kindly admonition, to some 
of the Calcutta Baboos." 

"Dear Sirs, — For some days past, sundry disagreeable 
rumours have been afloat among the native community of this 
city. At first I treated them with perfect indifference ; but 
they have been reiterated so often, and have reached me from so 
many quarters, alike native and European, that I now deem it 
most just towards all parties thus publicly to notice them. 
The nature of these rumours may best appear from the follow- 
ing extracts from certain communications, which have been 
addressed to me by gentlemen of character and respectability. 

" One writes thus : — ' There is, I hear, a conspiracy among 
the wealthy Baboos to hire some ruffians to maltreat you. 
If you treat it (the report) with contempt, you will go on as 
usual. On the contrary, if you think the report to be true, 
you will avoid going out at night, or rather never go the 
same road twice together/ Another writes thus : — ' I am no 
alarmist; but, whether with reference to the late baptisms, or 
other general causes, I have been credibly and seriously 
informed this day that there is, or is to be, a plot, by which 
some ruffians of the baser sort are hired to assault you — when, 
or where, could not of course be stated. Weighing the matter 
well, I thought it right to communicate this in common pru- 
dence. Pray, do not at least go out at night, nor return by 
the same road/ etc. 

" These extracts, from some of the communications addressed 
to me by respectable gentlemen, are enough, in the way of 
sample or specimen, to indicate the general character of the 
rumours which have been currently prevalent and extensively 
believed for some days past. And it is the strength of their 
prevalency, in connection with the credence which they have 
so largely gained, which makes me feel that it is more kind, 
more friendly, and more just towards those at whom the 
rumours point, thus openly and frankly to appeal to you. 

"1. If that part of the rumours be true which alleges that 
you are at length to submit to sacrifices and self-denial for 

70 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1848. 

the sake of being profusely liberal in the cause of native en- 
lightenment, no one can rejoice more in the fact than I do. 
The inculcation of the duty of liberality in a worthy cause has 
been one of the great objects of my life and labours since I 
came to India. And were but a tithe of what is now so lavishly 
expended on riotous and idolatrous feasts and festivals, and 
nautches, and marriages, and endless superstitious ceremonies, 
devoted to the cause of English education, it would undoubtedly 
tend to accelerate the progress of events towards a new and 
better era for this long benighted land. The religious societies 
in Great Britain raise annually, by voluntary contributions, at 
least half a million sterling, or fifty lakhs of rupees, for the 
enlightenment not of their own countrymen, but of races of 
men scattered throughout the world whom they have never 
seen. And this they do because Christianity, which they be- 
lieve to be the only true and worthy revelation from God, 
enjoins them to love all men, and to do good to all, as they 
have opportunity. Now, if you begin to set a similar example 
of liberality in well-doing to the people of Asia, and primarily 
for the benefit of your own countrymen, or if you outrival 
your fellow-subjects in Great Britain, and thus be the means 
of stirring them up to still greater munificence, I shall hail 
the achievement as one that shall gain you immortal renown, 
and for your country, under the overruling providence of God, 
an accession of blessings that shall enrich and ennoble the 
latest posterity. 

" 2. As to the threats of violence, which, according to many- 
tongued rumour, are said to be loweringly suspended over the 
heads of parents who, in the free exercise of their own parental 
rights as free-born citizens of a free state, have been pleased, 
or may yet be pleased, to send their children to the Free Church 
Institution with which, for the last seventeen years, I have been 
connected, I must, in the absence of all positive proof, and in 
the exercise of ordinary charity, believe either that the report 
is unfounded or grossly exaggerated. That such rumours, even 
if wholly unfounded, should so readily gain credence with so 
many of our fellow- citizens, is melancholy enough, as indicative 
of some lingering remnants amongst us of the persecuting 
spirit and practice of a bygone age. But that any such threats 
as busy rumour insists on proclaiming, should really have been 
held out by a self-constituted body of private individuals, and 


hang, in terrorem, over the heads of free-born British subjects, 
their own fellow-citizens, would be vastly more melancholy 
still. Such a portentous phenomenon would prove, beyond 
all debate, that the Calcutta JBaboos were not what their best 
friends sincerely wish them to be. Such a flagrant outrage on 
the principles of toleration, equity, and civil order, would serve 
mournfully to convince the sincerest advocates of Indian 
amelioration, that despite the multifarious processes of thirty 
or forty years' education, the Calcutta Baboos were still the 
representatives of antiquated intolerance, and openly repudiated 
any genial alliance with the fraternity of modern civilization. 
It would serve to transport us in vision to the days of Manu, 
or, rather, painfully to revive amongst us practices which, 
however conformable to the genius of the Institutes, would 
soon tend to plunge us into the very depths of a revolting 
barbarism. Again, then, for the sake of humanity, for the sake 
of the credit of our native gentry, I must suppose that the 
rumours are either wholly unfounded or grossly exaggerated. 
Of one thing I am sure, and to their honour I must proclaim 
it, that, amongst the Calcutta Baboos there are those whose 
kind-heartedness, good sense, and enlightened principles, 
would lead them to shun and even denounce any violent and 
illegal measures to coerce their poorer fellow-citizens in the 
exercise of their undoubted rights and privileges, as men and 
as British subjects. 

" 3. As to the rumour of threats respecting myself, I shall 
continue to treat it as an 'idle tale/ Among the Calcutta 
Baboos there are those whom I respect and esteem, and to 
whose keeping I would at any time entrust my life, in the 
most perfect confidence of friendship and protection. If others, 
who do not know me personally, should, in ignorance of my 
principles and motives, entertain unkindly or hostile feelings 
towards me, the fact would be in no way surprising. Even if 
the alleged threats were real, and not the progeny of lying 
fiction, I should not be in the least degree moved by them. 
My trust is in God ; and to me that trust is a guarantee of 
security far more sure than a lodgment within the citadel of 
Fort-William, with its bristling array of artillery. To this 
country I originally came, not of necessity, but by free choice, 
for the express purpose of doing what I could in diffusing 
sound knowledge of every kind, and especially the knowledge of 

72 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1848. 

that great salvation which is freely offered in tho gospel to all 
the kindreds and tribes of the fallen family of man. The only 
means employed are patient instruction, oral and written, in 
every variety of form, accompanied and enforced by the appli- 
ances of moral suasion. Old and young are uniformly dealt with, 
as endowed with rational and moral faculties, and, therefore, 
accountable for the proper use of them. They are exhorted to 
awake, and arise from the slumbers of inveterate apathy, incon- 
sideration, and indifference. They are called upon to acquit 
themselves like men, in thinking, judging and acting for 
themselves, under a solemn sense of their responsibility to God, 
the alone Lord of conscience. Of course, it follows, that should 
any respond to the call that is thus addressed to them they 
must, in varying degrees, have eyes open to discern the error 
and the evil of many ancient hereditary beliefs, habits, and 
practices. And should they be endowed from on high with 
the necessary fortitude to give effect to their new convictions, 
the result is inevitable; they must, to a great extent, separate 
themselves, in the present unpropitious and transitionary state 
of things, from the surrounding mass. That, instead of admir- 
ing the decision, and applauding the consistency of such a 
course of conduct, the great inert mass of conservatism should 
resent the separation as an insult, an indignity, an injury offered 
to itself, need occasion little wonder, however much the intel- 
lectual and moral blindness of such procedure may awaken 
serious regret. And that the human agents or instruments 
employed in effecting such changes, however pure in their 
motives, benevolent in their intentions, or disinterested in 
their ends and aims, should share in the resentment of the 
thoughtless, the unreasonable, the carnally-minded, the selfish, 
or the profane, follows as by a law of fatal necessity. 

"But we live by faith, and not by sight. Our principles 
are not of human, but of divine origination. They are not 
of mushroom growth, springing up to serve an ephemeral 
purpose to-day, and vanishing to-morrow. They are not like 
the ever-shifting sands of worldly expediency, glancing in the 
sunshine of popular applause before us at one time, and behind 
us at another; now obedient to the breeze on the right hand, 
and then on the left. No ; our principles are, in their fountain- 
head, old as eternity; and as they come streaming forth 
athwart the course of time, they bear upon their front the 


impress of immutability. Vain then, preposterously vain, 
must be any attempt to drive us from the promulgation of 
these ennobling principles by threats of terror or of violence. 
For, not only are they in their own nature unchangeable, but, 
in their main scope, purpose and end, they exhibit an aspect 
of inexpressible kindness towards man ; so much so, that were 
man not his own greatest enemy in rejecting them, were he 
only his own best friend in cordially embracing them, his whole 
nature would be renovated, and the earth itself, now filled with 
envies, jealousies, rivalries and violence, would be transformed 
into a universal Eden of blessedness. Here is a specimen of 
the system of principles or truths which we teach : — 

" ' In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth/ 
' So God created man in His own image ' (or moral likeness). 
' And God saw every thing He had made, and behold it was 
very good."' ' God made man upright, but they have sought 
out many inventions.* 'By one man sin entered into the 
world, and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, 
for that all have sinned/ But, ' the Lord is righteous in all 
His ways, and holy in all His works.' He is 'of purer eyes 
than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity/ ' The wrath 
of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and 
unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness/ 
At the same time, the Lord hath proclaimed His name, saying, 
'The Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering, 
and abundant in goodness and truth ; keeping mercy for thou- 
sands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, and that will 
by no means clear the guilty/ As for the race of man, ' There 
is none righteous, no not one : there is none that understandeth, 
there is none that seeketh after God : they are all gone out of 
the way, they are together become unprofitable ; there is none 
that doeth good, no, not one/ But, ' God so loved the world 
that He sent His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth 
in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life/ i God is 
love/ 'Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He 
loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins/ 
1 If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus 
Christ the righteous/ ' If we say we have no sin, we deceive 
ourselves, and the truth is not in us : if we confess our sins, 
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us 
from all unrighteousness/ 'Let every one that nameth the 

74 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1848. 

name of Christ depart from all iniquity/ 'Blessed are the 
pure in heart, for they shall see God.' ' Love your enemies ; 
bless them that curse you ; do good to them that hate you ; 
and pray for them which despifcefully use you and persecute 
you/ ' Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good/ 
" Such are some of the heavenly principles, which, in obedi- 
ence to a divine command, we feel ourselves imperatively called 
on to publish and inculcate, for the temporal and spiritual 
improvement of our fellow-creatures. And though numbers 
of the present generation, in their ignorance and infatuated 
blindness to their own best interests, should rise up to curse 
and otherwise maltreat us, through the appropriate agency of 
hired ruffians — nevertheless, so far from being deterred from 
prosecuting our chosen walk of truest benevolence, we shall 
only be impelled the more, by the pity and compassion which 
such suicidal opposition must ever inspire, to persevere with 
augmenting diligence and energy in the attempt to confer the 
greatest of benefits on those who thus blindly resist us ; — in 
the full assurance, that, however they may misconstrue our 
motives, or vilify our good name, or thwart our measures, their 
more enlightened descendants shall yet arise to bless us for 
our labours of love, and enshrine our names in perpetual re- 
membrance. But if it were otherwise ; if we knew for certain, 
that from our fellow-men we could expect nothing but hatred 
and contempt during life, and the brand of infamy attached to 
our names after death, we should still work on, sustained by 
the testimony of our own consciences and a full sense of the 
approbation of the great God. In this world we never expected 
any adequate return for our self-denying labours; it is to heaven 
we have always looked, in assured faith, for the eternal recom- 
pense of reward. Come then what may — come favour or dis- 
favour, come weal or woe, come life or death — it is our resolute 
purpose, by the blessing of God, to persevere. It is our heart's 
desire to see the soul of every son and daughter of India truly 
regenerated by the quickening word of the living God, accom- 
panied by the efficacy of His almighty Spirit ; and thus to see 
India itself at length arise from the dust, and, through the 
influence of her regenerated children, become a praise and a 
glory in the whole earth. And the realization of a consum- 
mation so glorious, so far from being retarded, can only be 
hastened by the vigorous execution of such intolerant and 


violent measures as rumour now so stoutly attributes to the 
short-sightedness of the Calcutta Baboos. Truly may the 
Christian, with reference to the projectors of such measures, 
take up the sublimely benevolent prayer of his cruelly perse- 
cuted and crucified Lord, in behalf of the savage murderers, 
and say, f Father, forgive them ; for they know not what they 
do/ Let the Calcutta Baboos, whom rumour represents as 
assembling, on Sundays, in secret conclave to brood over dark 
plots and hatch schemes of violence against their unoffending 
fellow-citizens, remember that the actual execution of such 
schemes would inflict deadly injury on no one but themselves, 
and irretrievably damage no cause but their own; — while the 
cause of those whom they now mistakenly regard as adversaries, 
when they are in reality their best earthly benefactors, would 
thence receive an accelerative impetus, which the united 
friendly patronage of all the men of rank and wealth in India 
could not impart. In the early ages of relentless persecution 
by the emissaries of Pagan Rome, it passed into a proverb, 
that ' the blood of the martyrs became the seed of the Church/ 
And let the Calcutta Baboos rest assured, that the vital prin- 
ciple involved in this proverb has lost nothing of its intrinsic 
efficacy or subduing power. The first drop of missionary blood 
that is violently shed in the peaceful cause of Indian evangeli- 
zation, will prove a prolific seed in the outspreading garden of 
the Indo-Christian Church. And the first actual missionary 
martyrdom that shall be encountered in this heavenly cause, 
may do more, under the overruling providence of God, to pre- 
cipitate the inevitable doom of Hindooism, and speed on the 
chariot of gospel triumph, than would the establishment of a 
thousand additional Christian schools, or the delivery of ten 
thousand additional Christian addresses, throughout the towns 
and villages of this mighty empire. 

"With sincerest wishes for your temporal and everlasting 
welfare, I remain, dear sirs, yours very truly, 

" Indophilus." 

"Calcutta, September 17th, 1847." 

The increase of converts, some of them with families, 
and the formation of classes of theology for the train- 
ing of several of them as catechists, then preachers, 

j6 LIFE OF Dtt. DUFF. 1848. 

and finally ordained missionaries and pastors, embar- 
rassed Dr. Duff and his colleagues, but in a way which 
rejoiced their hearts. At first, in Calcutta as in 
Bombay, the catechumens, whom the caste and intoler- 
ance of Hindooism excluded from their families and 
society, became inmates of the missionary's home and 
frequent guests at his table. To be thus associated 
with men of God and gentlemen of the highest Chris- 
tian culture, like the founders of the Bengal and Bombay 
Missions, was a privilege which the most scientific 
training in Divinity could not supply, and without 
which such training must have been one-sided or 
spiritually barren. What the intercourse with Dr. 
and Mrs. Duff was, and how they valued it, one of the 
ordained ministers, the Rev. Lai Behari Day, has thus 
recently told. The two Brahmans, Bhattacharjya 
and Chatterjea, still working as ordained missionaries, 
were his companions : 

" We three messed together by ourselves ; but we 
joined Dr. Duff and Mrs. Duff (their children being 
away in Scotland) at family worship both morning 
and evening. Duff was punctual as clockwork ; ex- 
actly at eight o'clock in the morning — not one minute 
before or after — the prayer-bell rang, and we all were 
in the breakfast-room, where the morning worship 
used to be held. Duff was always observant of the 
forms of politeness, and never forgot to shake hands 
with us, asking us the usual question, c How do you 
do?' By the way, Duff's shake of the hand was 
different from that of other people. It was not a mere 
formal, stiff, languid shake; but like everything else 
of him, it was warm and earnest. He would go on 
shaking, catching fast hold of your hand in his, and 
would not let it go for some seconds. The salutations 
over, we took our seat. We always began with sing- 
ing one of the grand old Psalms of David, in Rous' s 


Doric versification, Mrs. Duff leading the singing. 
Dr. Duff, though I believe he had a delicate ear for 
music, never led the singing; he, however, joined in 
it. He generally read the Old Testament in the morn- 
ing, and the New Testament in the evening. When I 
joined the little circle — and there were only five of us, 
Duff, Mrs. Duff, Jugadishwar, Prosunno and I — he 
was reading through the Psalms. He did not read 
long portions — seldom a whole psalm, but only a few 
verses. He seldom made remarks of his own, but 
read to us the reflections of some pious divine on those 
verses. When going through the Psalms he used to 
read the exposition of Dr. Dickson ; and in the evening, 
when going through the New Testament, he made use 
of the commentary, if my memory does not fail me, of 
Girdlestone. The reading over, we all knelt down. 
Oh, how shall I describe the prayers which Duff 
offered up both morning and evening ! They were 
such exquisitely simple and beautiful prayers. Much 
as I admired Duff in his public appearances — in the 
pulpit and on the platform — I admired and loved him 
infinitely more at the family altar, where, in a simple 
and childlike manner, he devoutly and earnestly poured 
out his soul before our common Father in heaven. 
Most men in their family prayers repeat, for the most 
part, the same things both morning and evening. 
Duff's prayers were fresh and new every morning and 
evening, naturally arising out of the verses read and 
carefully meditated over. And oh, the animation, the 
earnestness, the fervour, the deep sincerity, the child- 
like simplicity of those prayers ! They were fragrant 
with the aroma of heaven. They were prayers which 
Gabriel or Michael, had they been on earth and had 
they been human beings, would have offered up. I, 
at that time a young convert, experienced sensations 
which it is impossible to describe. I felt as I had 

78 LIFE OF DE. DUFF. 1848. 

never before felt, I seemed to breathe the atmosphere 
of heaven. I seemed to be transported into the third 
heaven, standing in the Holy of Holies in the presence 
of the Triune Jehovah. Duff's sympathies in prayer 
were wide and catholic. He prayed for every section 
of the Church of Christ, and pleaded, morning and 
evening, most fervently on behalf of the heathen 
perishing for lack of knowledge. In the mornings, we 
came away immediately after prayers to our breakfast, 
as we were required to be ready for the Institution 
by ten o'clock ; but in the evenings, when the family 
worship began at nine o'clock, Duff would often ask 
us to stay after prayers, and engage in conversation 
with us, not on any trifling, every-day, ephemeral thing, 
but on subjects of grave import; and sometimes we 
sat with him for more than an hour. How thankful 
do I feel for those quiet evening conversations, in 
which Duff impressed on our youthful minds the 
highest truths and the holiest principles. Those were, 
indeed, happy days; if they could be called back, I 
would, if I could, prolong them indefinitely." 

This was in 1843, but by 1845 the resident converts 
had increased to thirteen, and four of them were mar- 
ried. " We have been literally driven to our wits' end 
in making even a temporary provision for them," wrote 
Dr. Duff in 1845. No sooner was the necessity known 
than twelve merchants and officials, nine of them of 
the Church of England, presented him with a thousand 
pounds to build a home for the Christian students, in 
the grounds beside his own residence, which, with wise 
foresight, he had long ago secured. To this, as the Ben- 
galee congregation developed, and, according to Pres- 
byterian privilege, "called" its own native minister, he 
added a church and manse with funds entrusted to 
him for his absolute disposal by the late Countess of 
Effingham. The community has many years since 


become independent enough to dispense with the con- 
verts' rooms. In the same year, Mr. Thomson, of 
Banchory, and other friends in Aberdeen, unsolicited 
by him, sent Dr. Duff a library and scientific apparatus 
for the college, which completed its machinery. And 
then, just sixteen years after the young missionary 
had opened his school for teaching the English alpha- 
bet and the Bengalee Bible side by side, he saw the 
ripe fruit in the formal licensing by the Presbytery of 
the first four catechists, after strict examination, to 
preach to their countrymen the unsearchable riches of 
the Christ to Whom they had themselves been led by 
Western influences and along a difficult path. Long 
before indeed, under the more flexible system of epis- 
copal absolutism, Krishna Mohun Banerjea had become 
a minister, as Dr. Duff himself described with joy ; * 
and the two ripest of all the converts, Kailas and 
Mahendra, had been removed from earthly ministra- 
tion to the higher service. But when, with the double 
experience of nigh twenty years since he himself had 
been set apart " by the laying on of the hands of the 
presbytery," the fervid missionary delivered the charge 
of the Church to the two Brahmans, the Rajpoot and 
the middle-class Bengalee whom he had taught with 
Paul-like yearning, he felt that he too had seen the 
Timothy and the Titus, the John Mark and the Tychicus 
of the infant Church of India. And so he spake to 
each, from the words of Paul, a torrent of spiritual 
eloquence which the journals of the day lamented their 
inability to report : " Let no man despise thy youth ; 
but be thou an example of the believers in word, in 
conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 
Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, 
to doctrine." Nor did these four stand alone. Another 

* Vol. i. p. 444. 

So LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1848. 

of his convert-students he had given to the American 
Presbyterian missionaries in the Punjab, and of him 
he sent this report to Dr. Tweedie, who had just 
become convener of the home committee : 

Calcutta, 7th April, 1848. 

u A few days ago an excellent Christian lady, wife of Captain 
Mackenzie, who so greatly distinguished himself at Cabul, 
writing to my daughter from Loodiana, near the Sutlej, enclosed 
the printed prospectus of a mission about to be established in 
the now British province of the Jull under Doab. It is under 
the charge of the Rev. Goluk Nath, whom the writer of the 
letter is pleased to describe in these terms : — ' The minister 
of Jullunder, an old pupil of Dr. Duff's, of whom he speaks 
with the greatest affection/ etc. And again : ( I had nearly 
forgotten to beg Dr. Duff to show the circular of the Jullunder 
Mission to any one likely to feel interested in it. Tell him that 
it is a kind of grandchild of his own, as Goluk Nath is the 
father of it/ etc. This young man was brought up in our 
Institution; but having gone to the northern provinces, he 
was led, in providence, to unite himself with our brethren of 
the American Presbyterian Mission, so that through him our 
Institution is, at this moment, diffusing the light of the gospel 
among the warlike Sikhs who so lately contested the sovereignty 
of India with Britain. The Lord be praised; His holy name 
be magnified ! 

"The four native young men who were sent, about three 
years ago, from this city to London, to complete their medical 
education, and graduate there, were specially selected from 
the students of our Medical College, and sent, partly at the 
expense of the Indian Government and partly at that of private 
individuals, under the charge of a medical officer in the Com- 
pany's service. In University College, London, they greatly 
distinguished themselves — all carrying off prizes, and some of 
them the very highest in different branches. Last year one 
of them returned with the diploma of surgeon from the Royal 
College of Surgeons; and lately other two have returned with 
the degree of M.D. conferred on them. The fourth, and most 
distinguished of them all, is still in London. Now, it can 
scarcely fail to interest you to learn, that of these four young 


men one had received his preparatory education wholly, and 
other two chiefly, in our Institution. But what will interest 
you most of all will be, that of the two latter, the one who is 
still in London has lately made an open profession of the 
Christian faith, and been admitted by baptism into the Church 
of Christ. By last mail I received from himself a letter, which 
details some of the leading steps by which he was ultimately 
induced to devote his soul to the Lord Jesus Christ as his only 
Saviour; with various interesting reflections naturally called 
forth by the occasion. Thus, on all hands are we, from time 
to time, cheered with tokens of the Lord's loving-kindnesses 
towards us. 

" You will have heard of the fearful state of things among 
the mercantile community of this place. Their failures have 
also deeply affected and involved others who are not merchants. 
As agents or bankers, a large proportion of those in the civil, 
military, and other services of the Government had pecuniary 
dealings with them. So that, altogether, Calcutta never was 
in so calamitous a state as now. It really looks to a bystander 
as if overtaken by a universal bankruptcy, or by difficulties 
which border so closely on bankruptcy as not to be easily dis- 
tinguished from it. But why do I refer to this state of things 
at all ? I am necessitated to do so. Till towards the end of 
last year we found no difficulty in realizing the sum of about 
£1,200 annually, by local contribution — a sum which enabled 
us to pay the heavy rent for the Institution, with the salaries 
of all the native teachers and monitors, and sundry con- 
tingencies, and thereby relieved the home fund of that large 
amount annually. But since the latter part of last year we 
have been labouring under extreme difficulties, from the causes 
now stated. Still our trust is in the Lord Who has hitherto 
prospered us." 

The General Assembly of that year, responding to 
the joy which Dr. Duff, Dr. Wilson, Mr. Anderson, 
and Mr. Hislop, at Nagpore, felt in the converts thus 
gathered out of the ancient faiths of Brahmanism, 
Parseeism, even Muhammadanism and Judaism, and 
the rude demon-worship of the jungle tribes, addressed 
an apostolic letter to them all. The epistle reached 


82 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1848. 

Calcutta in the midst of the great car-festival of 
Jugganath. While excited devotees were hymning 
the praises of the hideous " lord of the world," and 
dragging his still obscene and cruel chariot, the 
heathen students were dismissed and the Christian 
Hindoos met in an upper room of the college to 
receive the epistle which was to be read in all the 
native churches. Dr. Duff thus described the scene : 

"After prayer and sundry introductory remarks, 
the letter was read and listened to with the pro- 
foundest attention. Some practical exhortations fol- 
lowed, and the meeting closed with prayer. It was 
altogether a season of refreshment to our spirits ; and 
in this dry and parched desert land we do stand in 
need of such occasional cordials. It brought to our 
remembrance the great-hearted world-embracing spirit 
of the Apostle to the Gentiles, who could address the 
mightiest of his epistles to the body of true believers 
at Rome, whose faces he had not seen in the flesh. It 
made us vividly realize the unity of the Christian 
brotherhood, which, overleaping all interposing ob- 
stacles, would assimilate and incorporate into one all 
the scattered members of Christ's mystical body. It 
left a savoury impression of the vitalities of the Chris- 
tian faith on our souls, and made us feel that, though 
cut off from the bodily presence of our brethren in the 
far west, we were not severed from their sympathies 
or their prayers." 

The immediate result was the formal organizing, on 
the 1st October, 1848, of the Bengalee Church, the 
members of which, from their familiarity with Eng- 
lish, had hitherto worshipped along with the ordinary 
congregation of the Free Church in Wellcsley Square. 
Dr. Ewart was made the first pastor until the Rev. 
Lai Behari Day, and then the Rev. Gooroo Das 
Maitra were called. The Bengalee girls of the Or- 


phanage also, then under Miss Laing, worshipped h 
the new chapel in their own vernacular, and Mrs. 
Ewart established, for the girls of the prosperous 
Armenian and Jewish communities in the city, a 
school which long continued to supply them also with 
a pure Christian as well as English education. The 
year 1848 closed, after a truly catholic fashion, with 
Dr. Duff side by side with Bishop Wilson in keeping 
the jubilee of the evangelical Church Missionary 
Society. "I came away," he wrote officially to his 
committee, " much refreshed and exhilarated, feeling 
intensely that, after all, when the peculiarities of form 
and ceremony were dropped, and earnest souls under 
the influence of grace came to humble themselves 
before the Lord, and to praise Him for His rich and 
undeserved mercies, and to give free and unfettered 
utterance to the swelling emotions of their hearts, 
there was not, in reality, a hair's-breadth between 





The year 1844 opens a New Period. — Lord Hardinge. — Public Ser- 
vice opened to Educated Natives. — Dr. Duff's Anticipations not 
realized till 1854. — The New Period one of Public Discussion. — 
John Kaye and John Marshman. — Sir Henry Lawrence and Cap- 
tain Marsh. — Establishment of the Calcutta Review. — Dr. Duff's 
Recollections of the Event. — His Early Articles. — The Editorship 
forced on him. — Encourages Bengalee Essayists. — Sir John Kaye's 
Gratitude. — The Fever Epidemic of 1844. — Calcutta now a Healthy 
City. — Dr. Duff's Appeal for the Medical College Hospital. — De- 
scription of the Dying and the Dead. — The Ten Hospitals of 
Calcutta now. — Dr. Abercrombie and his Daughter. — Project of a 
Monument to John Knox. — Relief of the Highland Famine.— Mrs. 
Ellerton. — Duel of Warren Hastings and Philip Francis. — Letter 
to Mrs. Duff. — Bishop Wilson. — Letter to Principal Cunningham. 
— Andrew Morgan and the Doveton Colleges of Calcutta and 

The successive administrations of Lord Auckland and 
Lord Ellenborough, by the violent contrasts which they 
presented, and the vital questions which they raised, 
summoned all Anglo-Indians, official and non-official, 
to discussion. The civil and the military services were 
placed, temporarily, in a heated antagonism. The dis- 
asters in Afghanistan, followed by the evacuation of the 
country after a proposal to sacrifice the English ladies 
and officers in captivity, and by the follies of a public 
triumph and the Somnath proclamation, had roused 
Great Britain as well as India. 

The annexation of Sindh and the war with Gwalior 
further stirred the public conscience in a way not again 
seen till the Mutiny, of which the Auckland- Ellen- 


borough madness was the prelude. And the whole 
was overshadowed by a new cloud in the north-west, 
far more real, at that time at least, than the shadow 
cast by the advance of Russia from the north. The 
death of Runjeet Singh, who from the Sikh Khalsa, or 
brotherhood, had raised himself to be Maharaja of the 
Punjab, from the Sutlej to the Khyber and the glaciers 
of the Indus, had given the most warlike province of 
India six years of anarchy. It was time, if India was 
not to be lost, that one who was at once a soldier and 
a statesman should sit in the seat of Wellesley and 
Hastings. The new Governor-General was found in 
the younger son of a rector of the Church of England ; 
in the Peninsular hero who, at twenty-five, had won 
Albuera, had bled at Waterloo, had left his hand on 
the field of Ligny, and had become a Cabinet minister 
as Secretary-at-War. Sir Henry Hardinge went out to 
Government House, Calcutta, at sixty, and he returnee' 
in four years as Yiscount Hardinge of Lahore. Before 
he left England he took the advice of Mountstuart 
Elphinstone, never to interfere in civil details. All 
through his administration he consulted Henry Law- 
rence, and saw himself four times victor in fifty-four 
days, at Moodkee and Ferozeshuhur, at Aliwal and 
Sobraon. Like his still greater successor, his victories 
were those of peace as well as war. He opened the 
public service to educated natives. He put down 
suttee and other crimes in the feudatory states. He 
stopped the working of all Government establishments 
on the Christian Sabbath, a prohibition requiring 
renewal, in the Public Works department at least, 
since his time. He fostered the early railway pro- 
jects, and carried out the great Ganges Canal. For 
the first time since, ten years before, Lord William 
Bentinck resigned the cares of office, our Eastern 
Empire felt that it was being wisely governed. 

86 LIFE OP DR. DOFF. 1844. 

Almost the first act of the new Governor- General, 
in October, 1844, was to publish a resolution which 
delighted the heart of Dr. Duff, because it at once 
recognised officially the success of his persistent policy, 
and Government for the first time acknowledged the 
value of colleges and schools, Christian and indepen- 
dent, other than its own. Because English education 
had made such progress in Bengal since the decree of 
1835, the Government directed that the public service 
be thrown open to natives thus educated, and that even 
for the lowest offices " in every instance a man who 
can read and write be preferred to one who cannot." 
Not only was the official department of public instruc- 
tion to submit, every New Year's Day, the names of 
students educated in the state colleges and fit for 
appointments, but " all scholastic establishments other 
than those supported out of the public funds " were 
invited to furnish similar returns of meritorious stu- 
dents for the same reward. The order was received 
with such enthusiasm by both natives and Europeans, 
that even the bureaucratic Council of Education, which 
had adopted all Dr. Duff's educational plans while 
keeping him and his Christianity at arm's length, burst 
into the unwonted generosity of notifying that the 
measure was applicable " to all students in the lower 
provinces without reference to creed or colour." True 
this was only interpreting the Hardinge enactment ac- 
cording to the Bentinck decree, which had in principle 
declared all offices, save the covenanted, open to natives, 
and the department still refused to spend the public 
money on any but its own secular schools. But the 
Council's notification, no less than the order of the 
Government of India, marked a decided advance to- 
wards that measure of toleration and justice to native 
and missionary alike, which Dr. Duff fought for till 
Parliament conceded it in 1853, 


Unfortunately the laissez-faire instincts of the Eng- 
lish, and the nepotism of the vernacular Bengalee 
officials, co-operated to neutralise the reform for a time. 
The Council fixed the tests of fitness strictly to suit 
its own colleges, practically excluding the " private 
individuals and societies" that, in truth, had made 
Government education what it had become. The Court 
of Directors objected to such a test as the English 
language and literature. In five years only nine stu- 
dents, all from Government colleges, were appointed 
to the public service. But when the leading Hindoos 
of Calcutta presented an address of gratitude to the 
Governor-General, and when Dr. Duff wrote to his 
committee in the following terms, both were right 
notwithstanding. For this order of Lord Hardinge was 
the second step, after Lord W. Beutinck's, towards 
that catholic system of. public instruction which cul- 
minated in the establishment of the three Universities 
in 1857. 

" Henceforward those who possess the best qualifi- 
cations, intellectual and moral, are invariably and sys- 
tematically to be preferred. And this order extends 
from the highest situations of trust down to the lowest 
menial offices. In the latter departments alone it is 
calculated that there are at least ten thousand persons 
in Government service in the Bengal Presidency alone, 
employed in serving summonses, etc., who can neither 
read nor write. In the higher departments of the ser- 
vice not above a dozen of superiorly qualified persons 
have hitherto succeeded in forcing their way into hon- 
ourable employment. Of what mighty and indefinite 
changes, prospectively, does this order, then, contain 
the seeds ? And what pre-eminently distinguishes it is 
this, that it is so catholic. Government institutions, 
and all other institutions, public or private, missionary 
and non-missionary, are placed on an equal footing. 

88 LIFtt OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

No partialities, no preferences in favour of young men 
trained in Government schools and colleges ! This is 
a remarkable feature. It is the first public recognition 
of missionary and other similar institutions, in imme- 
diate connection with the service of the State. What 
fresh motives for evangelizing labours in this vast 
realm ! I feel appalled and well-nigh overwhelmed 
at the new load of responsibility thus thrown upon 
us. Oh that the Christian people of Scotland would 
arise in behalf of the millions of India, as they have 
nobly arisen in behalf of their own thousands and 
tens of thousands at home ! That this Government 
notification will be followed by a sudden influx, an 
instantaneous rush of young aspirants into existing 
institutions, I do not mean to imply. But that it will 
furnish the strongest incentive to self -improvement, and 
impart the most powerful impulse to the general cause 
of education which has ever yet been supplied under 
British sway, is clear beyond all debate. . . Oh 
that we had the resources in qualified agents and 
pecuniary means, with large, prayerful, faithful hearts, 
to wait on the Lord for His blessing, and then, under 
the present impulse, might we, in every considerable 
village and district of Bengal, establish vernacular and 
English seminaries that might sow the seeds of divine 
truth in myriads of minds, and thus preoccupy them 
with principles hostile to ruinous error, and favourable 
to the reception of saving knowledge. ,, The predicted 
rush of native students took place. An impetus was 
given to the study of English, though not from the 
nighest, yet from a motive quite as high as that which 
feeds the competitive examinations annually held by 
the commissioners since the public service, civil and 
military, was opened to the whole nation. Had Lord 
Hardinge's order been carried out according to its 
spirit, or even letter, the natives of India must have 


found themselves now much nearer, because better 
prepared for, that share in their own government the 
demand for which may create a political danger. For 
the Christian colleges would have supplied those ele- 
ments of moral character based on conscience and 
faith, which the cold secularism of the powerful state 
system steadily destroys without supplying the true 
substitute. Apart from this solution Lord Lytton is, 
to-day, as vainly attempting to meet the difficulty as 
all his predecessors. 

Ever since Lord William Bentinck had supplied the 
stimulus to the discussion of public reforms in the 
press, and Duff and Trevelyan, Macaulay and Met- 
calfe, had led the way, the more thoughtful Anglo- 
Indians had felt the want of a literary medium. The 
editors of newspapers themselves, like Captain Kaye 
of the daily Hurkaru and Mr. Marshman of the weekly 
Friend of India, were the first to urge the importance 
of establishing a magazine or review to which men of 
all shades of religious and political opinion could con- 
tribute. The former, afterwards Sir John Kaye, had 
been led, by ill health, to abandon a promising career 
in the Bengal Artillery for the sedentary pursuits of 
a literary life. His professional experience gained for 
him the confidence of the many officers who, in India, 
are always ready to feed journalists with valuable 
materials, and fitted him to become the historian of 
such contemporary events as the first Afghan war. 
Mr. Marshman had come out to India with his father 
at the close of the previous century ; he had received 
there an intellectual and spiritual training of un- 
usual excellence ; he had made the grand tour in 
Europe ; he had discharged professional duties in the 
Serampore College with great ability, and he had 
become the first Bengalee scholar, had established the 
first newspaper in that language, and had succeeded 

QO H«8 OF DR. DUFF. x g 44 

Carey as Government translator. When the grand 
old Serampore brotherhood passed away, he became 
heir to the debt which their benevolent enthusiasm — 
supporting at one time twenty-seven separate mission 
stations out of their own pocket — had incurred. With 
marvellous energy, by the first steam paper-mill in the 
East, by preparing excellent law and school books for 
all Bengal, and by establishing the famous weekly 
journal, he wiped out the debt. From first to last ho 
contributed sixty thousand pounds for the enlighten- 
ment and christianization of India. To these two, 
with Dr. Duff, we owe the Calcutta Review. To them 
we must add Sir Henry Lawrence and Captain H. 
Marsh of the old Bengal Cavalry. Marsh was a 
nephew of Mrs. George Grote, whose husband was a 
contributor to the Westminster Review. That became 
the model of the new undertaking in a mechanical 
sense alone. In all other respects the founders of 
the Calcutta Quarterly were out of sympathy with 
Bentham, Mill, and their school. 

The first number appeared in May, 1844. A few 
weeks after Sir Henry Hardinge landed at Calcutta. 
Before, in 1874, writing the history of its first twenty 
years, we consulted the survivors of the band who 
had created its reputation — Duff, Kaye and Marsh- 
man, who have since passed away ; and we are happy 
in being able to add to the narrative the later state- 
ment of Dr. Duff, taken down from his own lips in 
those conversations with which, to himself and his 
friends, he lightened the pain of his last illness. The 
first number at once leaped into popularity. A second 
edition was called for, and then a third was published 
in England. " In a very short time," Sir John Kaye 
wrote to us, Dr. Duff " had written his article on * Our 
Earliest Protestant Mission to India/ and from that 
time he became a contributor equally indefatigable 


and able." Captain Marsh proved too trenchant a 
critic for the sensitive officials of those days, but his 
article on " The Rural Population of Bengal " would 
not now be pronounced so extravagant as Henry 
Lawrence then considered it. Of that he had written 
to the editor : " I have evolved myself of some form 
and embodiment akin to an article. Great fact if true 
— if confirmed by worthy John Kaye, good John Kaye, 
true John Kaye, and running in the same coach with 
earnest, solemn Duff — the silent, the unreplying, the 
uncorresponding Duff. Oh ! brave, brave ! Is it so ? 
Yes or no? JJtrum horum — odd or even?" He had 
great admiration (never better bestowed) of Dr. Duff, 
wrote Sir John Kaye, and was pining under an un- 
answered letter. 

These are Dr. Duff's recollections of his early con- 
nection with the Calcutta Quarterly : " I am not one 
who cared much for what people said or thought, 
but there was one thing I felt keenly — the way my 
connection with the Calcutta Review was represented. 
Some high and mighty ones probably did not like the 
idea of a missionary having the control over it. If I 
make up my mind for a great principle based on the 
Bible, I don't care for all the emperors of the world. 
About the beginning of 1844 Kaye was under the 
necessity of leaving India for his health. I had no 
bitterer enemy at the time than he. One day I had 
an invitation from him, most unexpectedly, to spend 
*the evening with himself and family. Nothing passed 
about the controversy, but he spoke on all subjects 
on which he knew I was interested, and spoke so 
agreeably no mortal would dream that anything un- 
pleasant had existed between us. Thank God, I never 
cherished the spirit of resentment. It was my daily 
prayer to be preserved from the spirit of envy, 
jealousy, malice, uncharitableness, resentment, or vin- 

92 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

dictiveness in any shape or form ; the feeling being 
intense that if God for Christ's sake forgave me ten 
thousand times ten thousand transgressions, it was 
my duty as well as privilege to forgive all who had 
offended or wronged me in any way whatever, whether 
they reciprocated the feeling or not. In the course of 
my long life nothing tended to give me greater peace 
of mind and conscience than the strenuous endeavour 
invariably to carry out this principle into living 
practice. To cherish hatred or the spirit of unfor- 
givingness punishes himself vastly more than the 
person hated or unforgiven. I went to Kaye simply 
as a human being to a human being. What surprised 
me most of all was that before parting he asked me, 
in a very respectful way, whether I would not favour 
them by concluding the evening so pleasantly spent 
by engaging in family worship, which I was delighted 
to respond to. 

" Shortly after spending the evening at his house I 
received a long letter from him, in which he stated his 
views about the desirableness of having a first-rate 
quarterly Review for India ; that the only parties 
whom he had consulted in the matter were Sir Henry 
Lawrence, Mr. John Marshman, and Captain Marsh ; 
and that now, having ascertained they were favourable 
to the project, he wished to learn whether I would join 
with them and become a regular contributor. I had 
long felt very strongly the need of a powerful periodi- 
cal to do justice to the mighty affairs of our Indian 
Empire. I therefore had no hesitation in replying at 
once, expressing a sense of the extreme desirableness 
of such a periodical. Only, I added, all will depend 
on the principles on which it is conducted. If these 
be sound in all departments — political, civil, social, 
theological, religious and moral, the good accruing 
therefrom may be pre-eminent. On the contrary, if 


the principles be unsound on these and other leading 
subjects, the evil will be proportionately great. I 
promised I would gladly join them in a close co- 
partnership to carry on the new Review, if he would 
pledge himself in the first place that nothing would 
appear in it hostile to Christianity or Christian sub- 
jects generally; and secondly, that whenever proper 
occasion naturally arose, clear and distinct enuncia- 
tions should be made as to sound Christianity and 
its propagation by missionaries in India. Mr. Kaye 
promptly assured me that these substantially expressed 
his own views, and if I would write an article for the 
first number he would leave me entirely free to choose 
the subject. Having a number of old documents in my 
possession relative to the first Indian, or Danish mission 
in Tranquebar, I wrote a very elaborate article on the 
whole subject of Missions, in which no important depart- 
ment was omitted. This article Mr. Kaye cheerfully 
inserted. It has since been reprinted at home, Dr. 
Andrew Thomson, of Edinburgh, making special allu- 
sion to it in his work on the Lives of Missionaries. 

" In the second number of the Review I chose the 
subject of * Female Infanticide among the Rajpoots 
and other Native Tribes of India,' and the extra- 
ordinary variety of operations carried on by our 
Government to extinguish it. I secured from the 
public library all the blue-books which had been 
published in all the Presidencies for fifty years past, 
in which many of the ablest and most enlightened 
servants of Government had taken an active share. 
I took special pains with it. Then there was in the 
fourth number ' The State of Indigenous Education 
in Bengal;' next came 'The Early or Exclusively 
Oriental Period of Government Education in Bengal.' 
I was preparing other articles of a similar kind, when 
the editorship came upon me. Mr. Kaye sent me a 

94 ^IFE OF DR. DUFF. 1845. 

polite message to come to his house to consult on a 
very vital and important matter. He said that al- 
ready the Review had proved an unexpected success. 
It would be very sad to let it go down just when 
entering on such an extensive work of great and 
obvious usefulness. The state of his health was such 
that he must almost immediately leave India under 
peremptory medical instructions. What was to be 
done with the Review ? No one could properly edit 
such a work aright except in India itself. • Now I've 
applied to every man in the service, and out of it, 
whom I thought at all likely to be able and willing to 
undertake it, at least for a time, but every one posi- 
tively shrinks from the task.' To maintain it on the 
footing on which it started in a country like India, 
where, at that time, none attempted to make a liveli- 
hood from their own literary exertions, except editors 
of newspapers, whose hands were already too full, was 
desirable. Therefore in the most earnest way he 
appealed to me to assume the editorship, for a time 
at least, and be the sole responsible head of it. The 
magnitude of the task at first appalled me. But 
writers of ability gave me articles, and occasionally 
supplied facts on subjects they were acquainted with, 
which, with their consent, I dressed up into articles. 
It came to be understood, when an article or materials 
for an article were sent, if the departures on any point 
did not diverge too far from the principles originally 
agreed on, that slight alterations might be made to 
adapt it to these principles without interfering with 
its leading objects. Mr. Kaye himself saw the fourth 
number in the press. Then it was that I took up 
the editorship, and I continued to hold it till obliged 
to return from India in 1849, when I gave up the 
management to my friend, the late Rev. Dr. Mackay, 
who was a man of exquisite taste and many literary 


accomplishments. It is but fair to Mr. Kaye to say 
that he insisted upon my taking some adequate re- 
muneration. I peremptorily declined. I looked upon 
the work as one calculated in many important ways to 
promote the vital interests of India, and in endeavour- 
ing to promote these I felt there was no incon- 
sistency between devoting a portion of my time to it 
besides the more direct mission work ; in fact, that the 
two duties worked into each other's hands and pro- 
moted the interests of each other. The grand object 
was to raise up the whole of India from its sunk and 
degraded position of ages, in every aspect of improve- 
ment, political, social, civil, intellectual, moral and 
religious. I felt, however, that the Institution I had 
founded ought to derive some direct benefit from the 
Review. Accordingly I took five hundred rupees a 
year for scholarships and prizes." 

This arrangement lasted till 1856, when the perio- 
dical passed into other hands. Notwithstanding 
varying fortunes since, it is still true that no single 
literary authority supplies such valuable information 
regarding India as the seventy volumes of the Review. 
Dr. Duff contributed, from first to last, sixteen articles, 
some of which were republished in England. Up till 
the time of his final departure from India his principles 
continued to influence its management. Not the least 
valuable of the services it has rendered to India has 
been the enlisting of Bengalee essayists on its staff. 
Dr. Duff's students — men like Dr. K. M. Banerjea, the 
Rev. Lai Behari Day and Baboo B. B. Shome, besides 
the Dutt and Mitter families — have contributed arti- 
cles of peculiar value for the information they give, 
and occasionally of such purity of style that the native 
authorship was not at the time suspected. 

To the last Sir John Kaye, in his numerous writ- 
ings, did not cease to express his affection for Dr. 

96 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1845. 

Duff. It might seem merely appropriate that he 
should dedicate to the missionary a volume on such a 
subject as " Christianity in India : a Historical Narra- 
tive," in words which express not only the author's 
gratitude for his kindness but " admiration of his 
character." In the history of Indian progress, how- 
ever, which Sir John wrote as a plea for continuing 
" The Administration of the East India Company " 
during the charter discussions of 1853, the secular 
historian of a corporation that had generally dis- 
couraged Christian Missions, and so has since passed 
away, did not hesitate to record " the great and 
successful exertions of private bodies to diffuse, 
principally through missionary agency, the light of 
knowledge among the people." The foremost place 
amongst these benefactors, he declares, all admit to 
be "due to Alexander Duff and his associates — to 
that little party of Presbyterian ministers who now 
for more than twenty years have been toiling for the 
people of India with such unwearying zeal and with 
such wonderful success." And, after telling the 
story, in its outlines, the historian concludes : " There 
are missionary schools scattered over all parts of 
India, and freely the children come to be taught ; 
but there is not one which, either for the magnitude 
or for the success of the experiment, can be compared 
with those presided over by Duff and his associates. 
Bombay and Madras share worthily in these honours ; 
and the educational achievements of their Scotch 
divines deserve to be held in lasting remembrance." 

Again, as ten years before, was Dr. Duff led to ally 
with his higher spiritual calling not only the press but 
science, directed towards purely philanthropic as well 
as educational ends. A succession of sickly seasons, 
followed by an epidemic of fever during the latter 
rains of 1844, had filled Calcutta and its neighbour- 


hood with thousands of sick, diseased and destitute 
natives, Hindoo and Muhammadan. The city had 
grown to vast dimensions without those sanitary and 
municipal institutions which the self-governing com- 
munities of the West provide for themselves. The 
Government, which had all India to care for as well 
as the dense rabbit-warren of Bengal proper, left the 
capital to itself, so that there was the blackest dark- 
ness under the lamp. The heat, the moisture, the 
rapid vegetable growth of the tropical swamps of the 
great rice land of Eastern India, have ever formed the 
nursery of fever and cholera. Carried by river and 
monsoon, by armies of soldiers and bands of pilgrims, 
by traders and travellers, by the half-charred remains 
of the poor and the floating carcases of man and beast, 
the causes of zymotic disease — germs or gases, the 
ablest observers cannot tell — after slaying their tens 
of thousands on the spot, are borne to the colder and 
by no means cleaner lands of the West and the North, 
to sweep off thousands. So, since the march of Lord 
Hastings at least up the Grangetic valley against the 
Pindaree hordes, cholera and fever have periodically 
laid low black and white, British soldier and sepoy, 
Asiatic and European alike. Hygiene and quinine 
have now anticipated the latter, but the dread secret of 
the cholera fiend has yet to be wrested from nature in 
its most maleficent mood. Twenty years after 1844, 
when Lord Lawrence became Viceroy, he gave an 
impetus to sanitary science in India which it has never 
lost. To him the salvation of the lives of hundreds 
of our soldiers and thousands of our native subjects, 
every year, is due. And Calcutta has been made as 
healthy as many a capital in Europe, by drainage and 
waterworks, by conservancy and lighting arrange- 
ments, by public dispensaries, hospitals and asylums, 
not surpassed in Christendom. 

VOL. 11. h 

98 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

It was not so, however, when the kirk-session of 
the Free Church of Scotland in Calcutta asked Dr. 
Duff, at the close of the deadly season in October, 
to preach to the city of Him Who, as St. Matthew 
(viii. 16, 17) describes, "healed all that were sick: 
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias 
the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities and 
bare our sicknesses." The missionaries and the mem- 
bers of the Bengal Medical Service united with some 
of the wealthy Bengalees in the plan of building the 
great Medical College Hospital for the poor of all 
creeds and classes. A member of the same Seel 
family who were starting a Hindoo college to destroy 
Dr. Duff's, presented the ground. Other natives gave 
large sums, the British residents showed their usual 
liberality, and the medical professors offered their 
services gratuitously. Funds were still wanted " to 
provide a Native General Hospital worthy of the city 
and commensurate with its wants, when a design which 
has been contemplated for some time past, by some of 
the most enlightened philanthropists of India, will be 
carried into effect without further delay." Hence 
Dr. Duff's sermon, which is in some respects the most 
characteristic he ever preached, as showing the breadth 
of his charity, the comprehensiveness of the Christi- 
anity which he came to plant and to water in Bengal 
till it should become there also the tree whose leaves 
are for the healing of the nations. As in his college 
he welcomed all truth that his Master might sanctify 
it, so in the pulpit he pled in that Master's name for 
all men, for humanity in all its forms and needs, for 
the body as well as the soul. From the curse of sin he 
pointed to the sympathy of the one Saviour — " not a 
mere sympathy of mercy and compassion, but a sym- 
pathy of power." By that Divine Example he pled for 
every Christian's sympathy. Turning to the three 


ponderous folios in which a public committee had 
recorded the appalling facts, he thus pictured the 
suffering and the sorrow, as we have since seen both 
in the fever-desolated tracts on either side of the 
Hooghly, from Krishnaghur to Serampore : 

"What, if there be a total absence of all palliatives and allevia- 
tions ? Or what, still more, if there be the positive presence 
of all manner of provocatives to envenom and exulcerate the 
original malady ? Now this is precisely the fell and fatal 
predicament of numbers of the suffering poor around us. They 
come to this city from all parts of the country in quest of 
employment, or to beg for charity. They take up their abode 
with individuals nearly as destitute as themselves ; or they hire 
a wretched hut, or as wretched an apartment in some old 
building, for a few annas per month. They are attacked and 
laid prostrate by disease. Who can depict, who can adequately 
conceive the loneliness, the desertedness, the imploring help- 
lessness of their forlorn condition ? Think of them, in hun- 
dreds and thousands, with scarcely any clothing to cover their 
nakedness by night or by day — unprovided with any sort of 
couch, on which to repose their aching limbs, — lying down on 
bare mats, or coarse grass spread on the damp ground in their 
narrow cheerless cells. Think of them, in hundreds and 
thousands, exposed at different seasons to pinching cold or 
scorching heat, or drenching rain, or stifling dust, or steamy 
vapour, or suffocating smoke. Think of them, in hundreds and 
thousands, panting for breath — immured in closely-built ill- 
ventilated dens — begirt with masses of old walls and tumbling 
ruins, with belts of jungle and patches of underwood and rank 
vegetation, that prevent all free exposure to the sun, which 
might rarefy or elevate the noisome vapours, and debarred all 
access to the winds of heaven that might dilute or dissipate 
them. Think of them, in hundreds and thousands, surrounded 
by accumulated deposits of filth and rubbish, intermingled with 
heaps of decomposed animal and vegetable matters, which, 
simultaneously with the tainted pools and the putrid drains, 
constantly evolve and disengage all manner of noxious exhala- 
tions — sulphuretted hydrogen and other poisonous gases — 
together with the whole nameless and countless brood of 

lOO LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1844. 

miasmata and malaria and other concentrated sources of ger- 
minating essences of plague and pestilence. Think of them, 
in hundreds and thousands, not merely without the means of 
personal or domestic cleanliness, but often parched with thirst, 
without a drop of water to cool their burning tongues ; — or, 
if some portion of that needful element be scantily, and at 
wide intervals, supplied by some casual hand, it is supplied, 
either directly the river, which, at one season, is unwhole- 
some from the quantity of its un filtered mud, and at another, 
equally so, from a copious infusion of ingredients that render 
it brackish and saline ; or from stagnant tanks, whose waters 
are impure and deleterious from the annual vegetable growth 
going on from beneath and all around — rendering them pro- 
gressively more and more shallow, and eventually converting 
them into green and slimy nuisances that contaminate the 
surrounding atmosphere. Think of them, in hundreds and 
thousands, craving for some cordial to soothe, or assuage, or 
mitigate inward agonizing pain, and if aught be granted to 
the petition of the rueful piteous look, that little is sure to 
consist of some raw, crude, indigestible substances that cannot 
fail to aggravate the fatal symptoms of the disease. Think of 
them, in hundreds and thousands, with cries and tears implor- 
ing the kindly offices of medical aid ; and if a farthing's worth 
of the commonest and cheapest native remedy be grudgingly 
doled out, it is only to accelerate their fate, — since the rude 
compound or preparation thus furnished is 'efficacious to 
enkindle the feeble flames of constitutional power, only to sink 
the more rapidly in death/ Think of them, in hundreds an-i 
thousands, when, however prematurely, all hope of recover* 
has been abandoned, and the dread of the disgrace, the re- 
proach, the infamy, the pollution to be incurred or contracted 
by the presence of a dead body in their vicinity, has aroused 
and alarmed the hitherto unconcerned and apathetic neigh- 
bours, — think of them, unceremoniously handed over to the 
heartless officers of death, who convey them roughly, without 
one look of sympathy or tear of commiseration, to the ghauts 
and banks of the river, where, pitilessly exposed to all tho 
inclemencies of the weather, they expire in a few hours, or, 
before they cease to breathe, are ferociously attacked by horrid 
vultures and beasts of prey. Ay, and what is most affecting 
of all, — think of vhem, in hundreds and thousands, enduring* 


these countless and untold sufferings in the present life, with- 
out any support or consolation drawn from the anticipated 
glories of the future. The humble disciples of Jesus, however 
poor or despised, neglected or scorned here below, can well 
afford to endure groans and griefs and agonies and tears ; be- 
cause the hope, full of immortality, renders the light affliction 
which is but for a moment, not worthy to be compared with 
the eternal weight of glory that is to follow. But these un- 
happy victims of a degrading superstition have to bear the 
unmitigated burden of all their sorrows, not only unvisited by 
earthly joy or uncheered by heavenly hope, but scared and 
haunted by ghastly spectres and images of terror that flit por- 
tentously around the portals of death and the grave. 

"Who, after such a statement — and it is but a faint and 
feeble delineation of the terrible reality — who need wonder at 
the reiterated solemn averments of the sagest witnesses — that, 
so far as man can judge, * a vast majority of those attacked 
do perish for want of prompt attention, from exposure, and 
destitution of the comforts, and in many cases, the necessaries 
of life' — that ' thousands of the poorer natives in and about 
Calcutta are continually exposed to the ravages of the more 
prevalent diseases of the country, and in a very large propor- 
tion, without a chance of being relieved ; that they die in 
thousands, not from the original force of disease, but from the 
want of an asylum/ or well regulated receptacle where pro- 
per medical treatment and care could be bestowed on them ? 

"And if the constant state of disease, suffering and death, 
even in ordinary years, points to the necessity of establishing 
such a sanctuary of health, what shall we think of that necessity 
as enhanced by those extraordinary seasons of raging epi- 
demic which, as in the months of March and April last, occa- 
sionally visit and scourge this devoted city and neighbourhood? 
— when almost every dwelling is turned into a sepulchre, 
where the dead and the dying are stretched side by side ; — 
when the thoroughfares to the tomb and the funeral pile seem 
more crowded than the highways to the marts of business ; — 
when the head of a family goes to the field, or the office, or the 
market place, and, returning, finds a wife, or darling child, or 
beloved friend already numbered with the dead; — when the 
prattling babe, that had been hushed to slumber by the caresses 
and lullabies of a fond mother, awakes, and, all unconscious of 

102 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1844. 

the change, wonders why its natural fount of life refuses its 
wonted nourishment, and smiling as it gazes at the counte- 
nance now clenched in the gripe of death, wonders still more 
that it is not as before respoDsive to the playful smile; — when 
the halls that lately rung with the music and the songs of 
hilarity and joy, are suddenly turned into sick chambers or 
charnel houses that resound with the voices of grief, lamenta- 
tion and woe ; — when the vigorous youth and the blooming 
maiden, who to-night so surely calculated on treading life's 
flowery dale and luxuriating on the banquet of hitherto 
untasted joys, are literally reduced to ashes before the rising 
of to-morrow's sun ; — when the lordly oppressor drops his rod 
into the cold bosom of the oppressed, and both are consigned 
together to the common place of oblivion, where they shall 
dwell in peace till the last trumpet sounds ; — when the grasp- 
ing miser sinks down amid his accumulated hordes in the very 
act of repulsing a humble suppliant, covered with rags, con- 
sumed with hunger, and fainting with inanition ; — when the 
paleness of every countenance, and the careworn solicitude 
engraved on every brow, and the inquiring wistf ulness of every 
eye, and the abrupt, hurried and measured utterances of every 
lip involuntarily betray the strange anxieties and forebodings 
of beings who know not but the stoutest, and the healthiest, 
and the busiest now, may, in a few hours, be stretched as a 
lifeless ghastly corpse ; when hundreds, flying the city in de- 
spair, never reach their country or their homes, but, meeting 
death by the way, perish miserably there — infecting the air 
with contagious influences, which thus ripen a fresh harvest of 
mortality all around the fallen fugitives ; — in a word, when, 
alike in town and country, the king of terrors — holding high 
carnival and fitting jubilee — not only lives but reigns, and 
not reigns merely, but riots and revels in all the wantonness of 
a victor amid the indiscriminate carnage of a battle-field — 
sitting aloft upon piles of untimely slain as on a throne of 
triumph, and wielding his merciless sceptre over the living, 
as over myriads speedily destined to become the victims that 
shall glut but not satisfy his ravenous maw ! But enough : — 
Surely, surely, if the suffering and mortality of ordinary years 
plead so impressively and resistlessly for the necessity of pro- 
viding an asylum, for the thousands of hapless sufferers, that 
necessity is augmented and enchanced a hundred, yea, a 


thousand-fold, by the return, in almost periodic cycle, of an 
extraordinary season of smiting, all-devouring pestilence. 

" May I not then, dear friends and brethren, confidently call 
upon you, as professing disciples of the Lord Jesus to come 
forward now, and vigorously support this great and philan- 
thropic undertaking ? M 

Soon there rose, by the side of the Medical College, 
the largest single hospital in the world, where, ever 
since, the poor Hindoo, the outcast devil-worshipper, 
the proud Muhammadan, the careless sailor, and the ad- 
venturous tramp have found at once the skill of the 
Christian physician, the ministrations of the Christian 
nurse, and not unfrequently the heart-healing of Him 
who gloried in that He came not to call the righteous 
but sinners to repentance. The opening of the hos- 
pital marked a new development of medical education 
in the East, for the course of the Medical College 
was reorganized in 1845 so as to qualify its students 
for the diplomas of the British licensing bodies. And 
ever since, in Calcutta and its suburbs alone, the 
number of persons treated in this institution, now 
become ten hospitals and dispensaries, has risen to the 
third of a million of human beings a year. In 1877 
there were 25,358 in-door and 300,204 out-door free 
patients. Philanthropy presents no grander triumph 
of the kind. 

In the close of his appeal Dr. Duff made this refer- 
ence to the benevolent physician, John Abercrombie, 
M.D., who, since the beginning of the ceutury, had 
been the foremost practitioner and philanthropist in 
Edinburgh : " What the Saviour did miraculously and 
instantaneously, may now, with His blessing, be grad- 
ually accomplished by mediate processes of an ordinary 
kind. And it were well if all Christian physicians 
kept more habitually in remembrance the great but 
too much neglected truth, that, while the application 

104 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1845. 

of the means is theirs, the entire fruit and success of 
their endeavours must belong to the Author of life. In 
our own native land, there is at the very head of the 
medical profession at least one saintly man, — a father 
in our Israel and a prince in the realms of cultured 
intellect and high philosophy, — of whom it is verit- 
ably related, that he never proceeds to visit a patient 
without first committing the case, in prayer, to a 
gracious and merciful and covenant-keeping God. 
And sure we are that, were his noble and Christ-like 
example more extensively imitated, the blissful issue 
would soon become visible in the augmented number 
of happy sick-beds, ay, and it may be, in the greater 
frequency of effective recoveries ; — for it is recorded 
by the pen of inspiration, and engraven as with a rod 
of iron on the rock for ever, ' that the effectual fervent 
prayer of a righteous man availeth much.' " 

The preacher did not know, as he spoke these words, 
that half Scotland was mourning the death of one 
whose spirit descended on a daughter ever since full 
of good works for the natives of the Highlands and of 
India alike. Personal and professional reasons apart, 
Dr. Duff had a special ground of gratitude to Dr. 
Abercrombie and his family. In his " Inquiries Con- 
cerning the Intellectual Powers,' ' and his " Philosophy 
of the Moral Feelings," the busy and thoughtful phy- 
sician had produced two elementary works, still of 
interest to the general reader, but then of value to the 
young student as a harmony of revelation and science. 
These were precisely the manuals which the Christian 
colleges of India desired for their first year's students, 
as introductory to Bacon and Berkeley, Hamilton and 
Whewell. On the request of Dr. Duff, the publisher, 
Mr. Murray, and Dr. Abercrombie at once consented 
to sanction the appearance, in India, of a succession 
of cheap editions. The works long continued to be 


■used, even by the Universities, for their " little go " 
examinations, nor have they yet disappeared from 
missionary schools. Hence the allusions in a conso- 
latory letter to Miss Abercrombie, written on the 7th 
February, 1845 : 

" It is many a day since I have received such a 
shock. For some time I felt as if literally stunned — 
so sudden, so utterly unexpected was the stroke. It 
seemed as if a veil of darkness overspread my eyes, 
which was only removed in a suffusion of tears. Many, 
many circumstances conspired to make me feel in a 
way altogether peculiar. His manifold acts of personal 
kindness and attention to myself when at home ; his 
more than paternal kindness to any of our dear chil- 
dren when labouring under disease ; his recent inde- 
fatigable attentions to our little boy, so vividly fresh 
in the mind; the earnest and truly disinterested manner 
in which he secured for us a cheap Calcutta edition of 
his two principal works for the use of native institu- 
tions ; his last undertaking in the way of preparing a 
series of works for the young, from which I looked for 
the richest accompanying blessings, to myriads at home 
and abroad ; all these, and many things else besides, 
came rushing into the mind like the sweep of a tropical 
torrent, and for a little quite overwhelmed it, under the 
announcement that such a father, such a friend, such 
a Christian author was now no more. 

" To him beyond all question the change has been a 
blessed one. But He who wept at the grave of Lazarus 
proved that the tear of natural sorrow, dropping from 
the fount of natural sensibility, is not, within due 
limits, an unlawful tear. And then, it is the inestim- 
able privilege of the Christian, in the case of those 
who fall asleep in Jesus, to mingle joy with his 
sorrow — the joy of a hope full of immortality beaming 
through the thickest shadows of death and the grave. 

)(>6 IJ.FB OF DR, DUFF. 1845. 

"Weep he may, but his weeping is like the genial summer 
shower, pervaded and brightened by the rays of the 
Sun of Righteousness. Above all, it becomes the 
Christian, in resignedly submitting to the dispensations 
of his Heavenly Father, however dark or mysterious, 
to derive therefrom such sanctifying lessons as they 
may be designed to impart. Hence my delight at the 
weighty sentiment expressed by yourself, when you say, 
1 1 trust it is our desire rather to be sanctified than 
merely to be comforted.' And my earnest prayer 
is, that you, my dear Christian friend, and all your 
sisters may be sustained, upheld, and truly sanctified 
under this sore bereavement — the sorest which could 
have overtaken you on this side of time. May He who 
is pre-eminently the Father of the fatherless be your 
refuge and your stay — your present and everlasting 
portion and reward ! May the great Angel of the 
Covenant embrace you in the arms of His love, hide 
you in His own pavilion, and shelter you under the 
outstretched wings of His mercy and grace ! 

" In the midst of such a trial it was indeed more 
than kind of you to remember us and our Hindoo flock 
here. I assure you the value of the original gift (an 
electric machine, sent for the Institution) is vastly en- 
hanced by this singular token of the deep interest and 
concern taken by yourself and dear departed father 
and other members of the family in our labours. I 
doubt not when the box is landed that it will prove a 
peculiarly valuable accession to our instrumentality of 

* The Rev. Gr. D. Cullen has supplied these new facts : " In 
June, 1841, Dr. Abercrombie invited a few of us to meet him 
in the Waterloo Hotel, and his guest, Dr. Peter Parker, returning 
from China to the United States. After hearing his interesting 
account of the work in Canton, Dr. Abercrombie asked — could 
nothing be done in Edinburgh to promote Medical Missions ? 
On our encouraging the proposal, it was asked who should bo 


Hardly had the Medical College Hospital been com- 
pleted when the generous Scotsmen of Calcutta turned 
to Dr. Duff to represent them in national movements 
of their own. One was, in 1846, the prospect of 
raising a monument to John Knox, which resulted in 
the purchase of his house at the Netherbow corner 
of the High Street of Edinburgh, and in the erection 
of the Church which bears his name. In this the 
missionary was their spokesman. But even more 
enthusiastically did he represent them when famine 
burst forth on his native Highlands, and the flower 
of the Celtic population began to wither and die, in 
the silence not of an Asiatic fatalism but of resigna- 
tion to the will of God like his who said, " Though 
He slay me yet will I trust in Him." Dr. Duffs 
Calcutta speech, in 1847, for their relief was a trumpet- 
blast, which produced such fruits that, up till a few 
years ago, money was sent from Bengal to the more 
destitute districts north of the Grampians. 

Among those who enjoyed an early and lasting 
friendship with Dr. and Mrs. Duff was Mrs. Ellerton. 
The name has no associations for the general reader, 
but it is that of one who, for nearly eighty years, was a 
famous historical character in Bengal. Mrs. Ellerton 
was a girl when, in 1780, she saw the notorious Philip 
Francis fall, shot through the body by Warren 
Hastings in the duel which was the procuring cause 
of the malicious impeachment and prolonged trial of 
the first Governor-General. It was a hot Thursday 
morning, of the 17th of August, when, close to the 
public road which still passes the residence of the 
Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, known as Belvedere, 
the two enemies met with their seconds. After 

secretary, and I named Dr. Coldstream. Dr. Abercrombie approved 
of the young naturalist, and I think I negotiated with my friend. 
But Dr. Abercrombie was the founder and the first president." 

108 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1844. 

months of obstructiveness in Council, detrimental 
to all good government, Francis had promised to 
remain quiet in consideration of certain concessions 
made by the Governor-General. Francis broke his 
pledge, and Hastings openly wrote in reply to a 
minute of his enemy : " I judge of his public conduct 
by his private, which I have found to be void of 
truth and honour.' ' The result was the duel, by high 
officials who had never before fired a pistol, under the 
two trees known as " the trees of destruction,' ' from 
the deeds of which they were occasionally the scene. 
Mrs. Ellerton saw Francis fall, saw Hastings and his 
second bind a sheet round the body of the bleeding 
man and place him in the cot in which he was carried 
to Belvedere. Of every public event in India there- 
after till the Mutiny, of every change in Calcutta, she 
knew the personal history, and much of her knowledge 
she communicated to the Rev. J. Long, for the Cal- 
cutta Review, when she accompanied him to all the 
historical landmarks in the city and its neighbourhood. 
She had been early married to John Ellertori, the 
indigo planter of Malda who opened the first Ben- 
galee schools, and made the first translation of the 
New Testament into that language, till the version of 
Carey — whom he helped— and Yates superseded his 
own published in 1820. " A widow indeed,'' this godly 
lady saw her daughter married to Bishop Corrie. In 
the evangelical circles of Calcutta and the interior 
she was ever welcome. We gladly rescue this letter 
from her to Mrs. Duff : 

"Bhaugulfore, 20th Oct., 1844. 

" My dear kind Friend, — The warmest thanks from a grate- 
ful heart attend you, for the kind interest you have manifested 
in my outward comforts. It has pleased the Lord to lay His 
hand upon me again, and I am confined to a sick room, but all 


must be well which He ordains. I am much better, though not 
yet able to join the domestic circle, and the doctor thinks the 
river air will complete my recovery. I believe my cabin is 
engaged in the Soorma, which will call here about the 27th, 
five days hence. The accommodations of Mrs. Ord's house 
in Wellington Square would suit me very nicely, but I am 
engaged to go to my nephew's, Dr. Jackson, at the General 
Hospital, who is to me as a second son, and as he has been 
obliged to send his wife and children in haste away, on account 
of their health, their apartments will be mine for a season. 
Nothing could be more acceptable and in unison with my 
feelings than the acceptance of your kind hospitality, for which 
L can never thank you sufficiently. May the Lord repay you ; 
He is my banker, for I am bankrupt in myself. With thanks 
I return Mrs. Davies' interesting letter. Give me a place in 
your prayers, dear Christian friends, and believe me yours 
affectionately in our dear Lord Jesus, 

" Hannah Ellerton." 

When Dr. Jackson left India, eight years after, Mrs. 
Ellerton became an inmate of the palace of the Bishop 
of Calcutta, whom she survived by three months, 
dying in 1858, at the age of eighty-seven. We read 
in Daniel Wilson's Journal — " ' Would I take her in r ' 
c Yes : and rejoice to do it/ was my reply. It will be 
like the ark at Obed-edom's, a blessing to my house 
and family, my guests and clergy.' ' Again, writing in 
1855 : " She is very chatty and pleasant and punctual 
in coming to meals. Many useful remarks fall from 
her in conversation. She has a turn for humour, and 
tells anecdotes of former times. There is a savour of 
downright piety and simplicity of heart in all she says. 
Her faculties are perfect. She loves authority and 
obedience. She jokes with me and calls me ' twice 
seven' (77). I keep four bearers for her exclusive 
use." It is a quaint picture of prge-Mutiny days in 
Calcutta. Dr. Duff's letters to the venerable lady have 
disappeared. She spanned the three-quarters of a 


century from the first Govern or- General of the East 
India Company to the first Viceroy of the Crown — 
from "Warren Hastings to Lord Canning. 

In the closing years of his second term of work in 
Calcutta, nothing out of his own special mission inter- 
ested him so deeply as the struggle of the Eurasian 
community to improve the academy which developed 
into the Doveton College. From 1846 to 1849 he 
maintained a close correspondence with the Rev. Dr. 
Cunningham, whom, at the request of the directors, 
he asked to select a Hector. The Jesuits on the one 
side, and the more sectarian Anglicans on the other, 
had opened rival schools, which threatened at once the 
Protestant teaching and the truly catholic basis of that 
of which Dr. Duff was visitor. In 1843 the short- 
lived league of the Brahmans with the Jesuits had 
led him to expose the immorality of the Order, 
which Dr. Mackay soon after traced historically in 
his Calcutta Review article on their China and India 
Missions. In 1848, Dr. Duff was compelled to re- 
turn to the charge in an elaborate treatise which 
became popular in this country under the title of 
" The Jesuits, their Origin and Order, Morality and 
Practices, Suppression and Restoration." He lent 
the Doveton Institution the services of Mr. Fyfe for 
a little, but still no Rector appeared. The times 
were not propitious, for the Disruption had absorbed 
into the pulpits, the colleges and the schools of the 
Free Church every available man of culture and piety. 

On the 7th August, 1846, we find these allusions 
to ecclesiastical affairs in Scotland, and to that chair 
of Foreign Missions, which he had first proposed in the 
letter on page 43 : " Your last General Assembly was 
an extraordinary one. What an ingenious device of 
Satan has that American slavery agitation been ! It 
is, perhaps, the only subject on which the world has 


heart interest enough to unite in a plausible charge 
against our Church. Out here we have felt at one 
with you from the first — I mean, our Free Church 
members. "When your article appeared in the North 
British, some of our ultra-liberals here at once took 
it up, and turned it into an argument against our 
Church, and it may amuse you to learn that I felt 
myself obliged, even here, on the banks of the Ganges, 
to vindicate our Free Church cause from public asper- 
sion by vindicating Dr. Cunningham and his article in 
the North British Review, yet so it was. As a curiosity 
I thought of sending you some of the papers; but 
remembering how full your hands were, I refrained. 
How strangely tangled and ramifying has the web of 
human affairs become. 

" Some time ago I hinted at a professorship of 
Missions and Education in your new college, but have 
not seen any symptom of a movement towards it. I 
have been surprised that an object so glorious should 
not have been contemplated in such a college. A 
missionary and educational professorship would indeed 
be a crown of glory to it." 

At last the man was found in the Eev. Andrew 
Morgan, who had made Auchterarder almost as famous 
by his school as the Disruption controversy had done. 
From February 1849 to December 1854 he gave his 
life for the elevation 'of the Eurasians and resident 
Europeans of India, in Bengal and Madras, till he died 
of overwork. Dr. Duff rejoiced in his success. Mr. 
Morgan stamped his manly God-fearing nature on a 
generation of youths who still, many of them high in 
the Indian services, call him blessed. 

Dr. Duff thus concluded one of his importunate 
letters to Dr. Cunningham about the Rector : " Oh 
what a loss has been sustained in the death of Dr. 
Chalmers ! It is too great for utterance." 




The Death of Dr. Chalmers. — Dr. Duff on his Career. — A Mission- 
ary to the Heathen rather than a Divinity Professor. — Addresses 
from all classes of the Indian Community. — The Brahman Pun- 
dits. — Mr. Lacroix and a Professorship of Missions. — Dr. Duff 
Summoned Home to Organize the Free Church Mission Scheme. — 
Tour in South India. — His Journal. — The People and the Land- 
Tax. — French and British. — Fort St. David and the East India 
Company. — Tranquebar. — Ziegenbalg, his Church and House. — 
Caste Christians and German nationalism. — Jesuit Missions. — 
The Land of the Great Pagodas. — In the Seringham Temple. — 
Schwartz and his Work. — Heber. — Robert de Nobili's Tomb. — 
Bishops Sargent and Caldwell. — Nagercoil and Lace-making. — 
Ceylon. — Up the Ganges to Simla. • — Futtehpore Sikri. — Lahore 
and Sir Henry Lawrence. — Brigadier Colin Mackenzie. — Meeting 
on the Indus with Dr. Wilson. — Bombay. — Edinburgh. 

It was early on a Friday morning in July, 1847, while 
Dr. and Mrs. Duff were enjoying on the house-top, as 
was their wont, the too brief hours of coolness before 
the tropical sun should rise high in the heavens, that 
an Episcopalian friend communicated to them the fact 
of the death of Dr. Chalmers, " the venerated father of 
your Church." The news seemed incredible. By the 
previous mail Dr. Duff had heard of his evidence, 
before the House of Commons' committee, on the re- 
fusal of sites for the erection of Free churches, and of 
the gathering of statesmen like Lord John Russell and 
of the London crowd to hear his ripened eloquence. 


But the Government express mail had brought the 
intelligence, which moved even educated Hindoo 
society, familiar with his writings and taught by his 
greatest students. To Dr. Duff the loss, suddenly 
announced, was not that of a father and a friend alone. 
Nor was his sorrow the offspring of gratitude merely 
to the memory of one whose lectures and training and 
personal influence for five years had done more to 
make the Highland student what he had become than 
any other single influence. Nor did he think chiefly, 
moreover, of the solemn hour of his ordination in 
St. George's, and the second charge given to him in 
the same place by the great departed as by Paul to 
Timothy. Dr. Duff in the fulness of his own experi- 
ence on the wide arena of India and the East, and of 
his knowledge of the men who make the history alike 
of the Church and the world, thought of Thomas 
Chalmers as the earliest Scottish apostle of evangelical 
missions, as the preacher who, before even Dr. Inglis, 
had in 1812, and again in 1814, dared to tell his 
countrymen that they stood alone of all English- 
speaking peoples in their contempt for the mission- 
ary cause, and that the time was at hand when they 
must become the foremost of missionary nations. 

It was thus he wrote of Chalmers to Dr. James 
Buchanan, on the 7th August, 1847 : 

u Apart altogether from considerations of a more private or 
more general character, I feel that I could not, in my specific 
capacity as a missionary, keep silence. It is impossible for me 
to forget that one of the first steps in his splendid career as a 
Christian philanthropist, was his unanswered and unanswerable 
defence of Bible and Missionary societies. It was, indeed, a 
defence which swept away the wretched sophisms of the in- 
different and ungodly, like chaff before the whirlwind. It 
demonstrated to the world, that if such societies threatened to 
become popular, it was not from poverty of intellect on the 


114 LIFE 0F DR - DUFF. 1847. 

part of their friends, or from a drivelling irrational pietism on 
the part of their champions. From Bibles the transition was 
easy to the translators and distributors of Bibles and the 
promulgators of Bible truth. Accordingly, at a time when 
missions were most despised, and missionaries held most 
despicable by the great and the wise and the mighty of this 
world, he stood forth the intrepid and triumphant vindicator 
of both. In his two discourses, entitled ' The Two Great 
Instruments appointed for the Propagation of the Gospel/ 
and, 'The Utility of Missions Ascertained by Experience/ 
preached and published upwards of thirty years ago, there are 
bursts of eloquence which he himself never subsequently sur- 
passed ; downright genuine eloquence, which does not lead us 
to the goal by slow marches of argument, or parade of verbal 
logic, or ingenious devices of subtlety, but flashes upon the 
subject with the revealing power of heaven's lightning, and at 
once makes every understanding to perceive, and every heart 
to feel. In the whole range of missionary literature it would 
perhaps be difficult to meet with any treatises which, within a 
shorter compass than that occupied by the discourses now 
named, portray more strikingly the unrivalled claims of the 
Bible, exhibit a finer delineation of the missionary character, 
or embody a more powerful exposition and defence of the great 
object of the missionary enterprise. 

" But it has at times, and by interested parties, been more 
than insinuated, that the noble author's own example in some 
respects belied the glowing portraiture of his pen. Of this, 
no one that knew him well could ever be persuaded. As one 
of the few that have been raised up in any country or age, 
gifted from on high with a sight of mind that was telescopic, 
among the millions endowed with ordinary vision he was con- 
stantly liable to be misunderstood in his plans and doings. 
The schemes of such a man, rightly interpreted, would be 
found to affect, not Scotland or England alone — not the present 
age only, but the world and all posterity, And centuries 
hence, the truth not less than the magnificence of his concep- 
tions, may be appreciated and admired by the grateful descen- 
dants of those who have often joined the vulgar throng in 
vilifying the man, and in ridiculing or condemning his 

" Mighty, however, though he was in performance, his mind 


was as much, if not more, of the legislative caste than the 
executive. Using ' speculation ' in its highest, noblest sense, 
he may truly be said to have been at once the most speculative 
and the most practical of living men. In religion and morals, 
as well as general philosophy, he was a theorist and experi- 
mentalist on the largest, surest scale. He first began, or 
rather, God, in mercy to his country and mankind, enabled 
him by His good Spirit to begin, with himself. His own 
personal experience he generalized and instantly rendered 
available in his management of human nature in a rural 
parish. His rural experience he generalized and applied to 
the unravelling of the more arduous complexities of an urban 
.and suburban population. His rural and civic experience he 
next generalized, and transferred with giant power to the 
scaling of almost insurmountable difficulties, in the erection of 
new churches, and the establishment of a vigorous parochial 
economy, with a view to effectuate and complete the christian- 
ization of a kingdom. But would he have stopped here ? The 
wishes and the hopes of many earnestly suggested, No. When, 
through the blessing of Heaven, he should have succeeded in 
rearing a monument of his later labours in the land of his 
fathers, mightier and more enduring far than that of the 
monarch whose boast it was that he found the capital of his 
empire of brick and left it of marble; when he should have 
established the means of everywhere converting that ' bulky 
sediment/ which now putrefies in all the loathsomeness of 
moral corruption at the base of society, into materials more 
precious than the gold of Ophir — materials enstamped with 
the name and superscription of the King of Zion; then, if 
spared by the kindness of a gracious God, then it was that the 
Church, the world, expected that he would generalize his 
national experience, and bring it to bear, in the full breeze of 
triumph, on the countless outcast population of a globe. And, 
if privileged by Providence so to do, with a field so vast for 
the range of his excursive powers, and an object so transcen- 
dent for the sympathies of his benevolent heart, was it too 
much to hope that he would have been empowered from on 
high to speak in such a voice of thunder, and lighten in such 
flashes of love, as to arouse all Christendom from its guilty 
slumbers, and to awaken nations to seek their God ? But all 
fond hopes of such a glorious culminating crown to his mani- 

Il6 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1848. 

fold labours are now at an end. That ' grim tyrant/ whose 
fell triumphs he was wont to portray with such thrilling 
power, has interposed his mighty fiat. And now if, by 
general consent, he who has been so suddenly laid low was 
long acknowledged, in point of real intellectual and moral 
greatness combined, to be the master mind of his own country, 
if not of his own age, it only remains to be added, in justice 
to the character of the departed, that, though not a missionary 
himself, in the ordinary technical use of that term, or even no 
very active member of any missionary board or committee, 
yet, in all that constitutes the real grandeur of wide, all- com- 
prehending, God-like philanthropy, he has been, for years, the 
leading missionary spirit of Christendom. 

" Standing, as we do, in this great metropolis of Asiatic 
heathenism, surrounded by myriads that are perishing for 
lack of knowledge — myriads amounting, in the aggregate, to 
more than half of the race of man — it need not be wondered 
at that the mind should rapidly pass over all other features, 
however brilliant, and instinctively fasten on the missionary 
element in the character of our late revered father and 

All that Thomas Chalmers had been, Dr. Duff one 
Sabbath evening told the Hindoo students of the 
Calcutta colleges who filled the Free Church Institu- 
tion. The secular newspapers of the time bewailed 
that they had not caught " the leading features in the 
life, labours and principles of that illustrious divine," 
as represented by the hands of such a master. Dr. 
Hanna has embodied a part of the sketch in the 
Memoirs of his father-in-law. But yesterday Scots- 
men, at home and abroad, united to place in their 
widest street, fronting Edinburgh Castle, Sir John 
Steell's statue of the true successor of John Knox. 
To-day the nation is preparing to commemorate the 
centenary of his birth on the 17th of March, 1780. 

Who could succeed him ? not indeed as national 
leader of the third Reformation, but as a theological 
teacher and as a missionary influence at the head of 


the New College, which he had founded for the Free 
Church in Edinburgh. Many a heart turned instinc- 
tively to his greatest student, who had created two 
colleges of his own in Calcutta, and not a few else- 
where in imitation of these. While, after their or- 
derly fashion, presbyteries and synods, unanimously 
or by large majorities, and then the General Assembly 
itself, in commission, called on Dr. Duff to come home 
as the successor of Chalmers, every mail deluged him 
with private appeals to sacrifice his own " predilec- 
tion. " It was the old story of 1836, when every vacant 
charge with a large stipend thought to tempt him. 
Remembering that time, and with a conviction of the 
paramount claims of India more like that of Dr. Duff 
himself, two leaders of the Free Church only were 
found to plead publicly that he be let alone, Dr. Gor- 
don, secretary of the Foreign Missions Committee, and 
Thomas Guthrie. 

It was necessary for the missionary to act before 
the meeting of the General Assembly of 1849. He 
accordingly wrote a letter which Dr. Tweedie pub- 
lished on his own authority. Tracing all the way 
by which the Lord had led him, from his father's 
teaching to Chalmers's death, he declared that he 
must remain — must die as he had lived — the mis- 
sionary. "I trust, therefore, that Dr. Candlish, Dr. 
Begg, Dr. R. Buchanan, and other revered and be- 
loved men will readily excuse me for not entering 
more minutely into the ' merits ' of the question. 
They meant to honour me, and truly did honour me 
far more than I am conscious of deserving." The 
men of the world, too, he wrote, " whenever I met 
with such, as well as their organs of the public press, 
uniformly congratulated me on what they are pleased 
to designate as my contemplated ' elevation ' or ' pro- 
motion ' to the Edinburgh theological chair. I deem 

Il8 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

it, therefore, an unspeakable privilege to have it in 
my power to do anything, however humble, towards 
magnifying my much despised office. The conclusion 
of the whole matter is this, that in some form or 
other, at home or abroad or partly both, the Church 
of my fathers must see it to be right and meet to 
allow me to retain, in the view of all men, the clearly 
marked and distinguishing character of a missionary 
to the heathen abroad, labouring directly amongst 
them ; at home, pleading their cause among the 
churches of Christendom. . . For the sake of 
the heathen, and especially the people of India, let 
me cling all my days to the missionary cause." 

And the people of India, so far as its dumb 
millions could speak by representatives, Christian 
and non-Christian, reciprocated the sacrifice. His 
own converts, led by the sixteen foremost of their 
number, implored their " much-loved spiritual father 
in the Lord," in an address of pathetic urgency, 
not to leave them. The native Christians of other 
churches, to which he had given not a few of his 
brightest sons in the faith, added their protestations. 
Hundreds of the Eurasians joined in the cry. Still 
more of his own Hindoo students and ex-students, 
to whom he had given Christ's view of truth and life 
and the world to come, though the Spirit had not 
brought them to the new birth, declared for educated 
native society, " If at this juncture you leave our 
country, everything will probably be undone. The 
incredible labours of your past years will likely either 
go in vain, or, at least, will not yield a very rich 
harvest." They thought, they spoke of " education," 
of " civilization " only, not consciously at least of 
the spiritual force which makes a new creation. But 
rarest of all the addresses, which must have barred 
the way of the man most eager for the rest and the 


culture of academic ease, was a Sanskrit remonstrance 
from eleven learned Bralimans " desirous of the Chief 
Good," " to the most intelligent, virtuous, impartial 
glorious, and philanthropic people of Scotland." The 
orientalism which sounds like a psean in the tongues 
of the East, may appear hyperbole in the prosaic com- 
monplaces of Teutonic speech. But, after making the 
largest allowance for the contrast, all our experience 
of Indian life, of Hindoo gratitude, of Bengalee lov- 
ableness, warrants us in quoting this translation as 
a dim reflection of the impression produced by the 
fervid personality of Alexander Dan 2 on the people of 
India, seeking the Lord, if haply they might feel after 
Him and find Him, and yet He is not far from every 
one of us, for in Him we live and are moved and are : 

"The all-merciful, omnipotent, just, and impartial God, 
compassionating the wretched people of India, first sent the 
eminently holy Dr. Carey and others as missionaries. But, in 
the vast firmament of this country, they appeared as little stars 
and fireflies, and were consequently unable to dissipate the 
encompassing gloom. Then came Reichardt, and Wilson, and 
Piffard, and Ray, who have returned home, and a multitude 
of others, all of whom have done much for the real welfare 
of the truly wretched people of this country. But these have 
not done what they desired. They have not been very famous. 
Not only are their names unknown to most of the people of 
India, but even in the city of their habitation a few persons 
only know the names of some of them. After making these 
prefatory remarks, we, the undersigned Sanskrit Pundits, sub- 
mit as follows : 

" We have spoken of the success of some missionaries, and 
presently we shall speak of the eminently pious and learned 
Dr. Duff. The Rev. Doctor has been greatly blessed by 
Almighty God. His name is in the mouth of every Hindoo 
because of his transcendent eloquence, learning, and philan- 
thropy. As to his eloquence ; from his mouth, which re- 
sembles a thick dark rain-cloud, there do issue forth bursts of 
incessant and unmeasured oratory ; so that he fills his audience 

T20 LIFE OF DK. DUFF. 1849. 

with rills of persuasive eloquence, just as the rain of heaven 
fills rivers, streams, brooks, valleys, canals, tanks, and pools, 
and, dissipating the dark delusions of false religion, he makes 
rise on their souls the light of true religion. This illustrious 
person, in order to the accomplishment of his object, has 
devoted his head and heart, and spent large sums of money. 
If some husbandmen, after ploughing, sowing, and watering 
a field, which held out to them the near prospect of a golden 
harvest, were to be stopped in their agricultural pursuits by 
one who, without considering either the labour bestowed upon 
the field, or the certainty of speedy gain, were to say to them, 
( you must engage in something else/ how, we would take 
the liberty of asking you, would the husbandmen feel, and 
how would the corn flourish ? We leave it to your cultivated 
understandings to apply this example to the case in hand. 

" Such a man as the Rev. Doctor was never seen in this 
country before. Now, alas ! the object of our devout wishes 
is far from being realized. That which never came to our 
minds even in the visions of the night is suddenly about to 
happen. Oh ! what must be the magnitude of the sin of this 
people to merit such a catastrophe ! Consider how difficult it 
is to reform the ignorant ; to remove mountains is, we think, 
a far easier matter. Consider, again, how almost impossible it 
is to break down the barriers of caste, and open up social in- 
tercourse between the highest and lowest classes of the Hindoo 
community; to make sun and moon rise in the west is more 

" With the illustrious Duff India weighs heavy, but the mere 
report of his recall has made her light. With his recall the 
grand net that has been spread in this land for the establish- 
ment of the true religion would seem to be taken away. Good 
men have become sad, and bad men are rejoicing. The friends 
of true religion are praying that God would change the minds 
of the people of Scotland, and prevent Dr. Duff's recall. Ii 
you are determined to blast the fruits of all missionary efforts 
that have been and are being made in this country, then our 
solicitations are like shedding tears in a forest, where there is 
none to sympathise with us. But, should you fulfil the object 
of our desires, we would then be extremely glad. What need 
is there to write more to such wise and considerate men as you 
are ? Be pleased to excuse the length of this letter, and over- 

J£t. 43. SUMMONED HOME. 121 

look all mistakes either in the matter or manner. Praying 
that we may be enabled to avoid the path of gross delusions, 
walk in the way of true religion that confers lasting benefits 
on all, and meditate on God with soul earnestness, we, with 
much humility, subscribe our names. 

(Signed) " Eaghu Nath Shiromani, Radha Krishna Tarka- 
bagisha, Shyama Charan Shiromani, Godadhar Tarkaba- 
gisha, Kali das Kabibhushana, Ram Kamul Churomani, 
Thakur das Nayapacchanana, Thakur das Churomani, Hari 
Prasad Bidyalanker, Gour Chandra Bidyalanker, Chandra 
shakhar bldyabachaspati." 

The other Free Church mission aries and friends, 
Drs. Wilson, Mackay and Bwart, Messrs. Anderson, 
Hislop, and MacKail, and Mr. Justice Hawkins, united 
in the same request. But they agreed with Drs. Gor- 
don and Guthrie at home, that it was desirable for Dr. 
Duff to return to Scotland for a time, to consolidate, 
in the Free Church, that work of missionary organ- 
ization to which he had given the years of his visit 
previous to the Disruption. When it became known 
that he would not sink the missionary in the divinity 
professor, the General Assembly urged his temporary 
return. The Swiss Rev. A. F. Lacroix, of the London 
Missionary Society, indeed went so far as to urge that 
the Free Church should found a chair in its new col- 
lege, " to be called the ' missionary or evangelistic ' 
chair, having for its object to impart information and 
instruction regarding that most interesting and impor- 
tant portion of the Christian system — the universal 
spread of our Lord's kingdom over the earth. To such 
a professorship, if ever it be established, I should hail 
to see you appointed, but to no other. May the day 
soon come when the Free Church of Scotland will deem 
it its duty, in this manner, to complete the good work 
it has begun, and which has already produced such 
beneficial effects in various parts of the pagan world 1 " 

122 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

Five years before Dr. Duff bad proposed such a foun- 
dation ; twenty years after he caused it to be laid. 

Dr. Nicholson pronounced it most desirable, on 
medical grounds, that Dr. Duff should return to Eu- 
rope after ten years' labours, which had " evidently 
shattered his constitution." He even agreed to allow 
the missionary to make a long land tour up the Ganges 
and Jumna valleys, and down the Indus to Bombay, 
in 1850, " provided you take the common precautions 
necessary in travelling in this country, and avoid all 
needless fatigue and exposure." But before this and 
so far from this, the ardent evangelist resolved to 
make a survey of South India and Ceylon in the in- 
tervening hot and rainy seasons of 1849. Convinced 
that " India is at this moment of all countries in the 
world the great missionary field," he determined that 
he would visit all its Evangelical and many of its 
Romanist missions, south and north and west, before 
he took his new message from the front of the battle 
to those who abode at home by the stuff. 

From April to August he suffered fatigues and ex- 
posure, he underwent risks and toil, such as no motive 
lower than the missionary's could justify, and few 
others could have borne after a decade of exhausting 
duties in Bengal. Fortunately he himself has pre- 
served for us a record of the tour in a MS. volume. The 
same steamer which took him from Calcutta to Madras 
carried off Mr. Anderson and his first ordained convert, 
Rajahgopal, to Scotland. After preachiug a sermon 
for the Mission, and with Mr. Johnston visiting the 
branch station of Conjeveram — Nellore being too dis- 
tant to the north, — and after taking part in the usual 
prayer meeting, in which he set forth the Saviour's in- 
finite and inconceivable love, he left Madras by palan- 
keen. Chingleput, thirty-six miles off, the third branch 
station of the Mission, was the first staee on his 


southward journey. The native converts presented 
him with the carefully bound black morocco note-book 
in which he wrote his diary during the enforced leisure 
of the long journeys and often weary waiting of prse- 
railway days. The volume, having his name engraved 
on its flap, is doubly hallowed by the signatures of the 
twenty-four men and women who put it in his hands. 
The name of the late Rev. Venkataramiah heads the 

The diary was intended strictly for his own use, and 
no eye saw it till his death removed the restriction 
which we find in the midst of its entries. The whole, 
covering 960 closely written pages, which we trust will 
yet see the light in their completeness, forms a record 
of the social and religious condition of the people of 
the Carnatic and Ceylon, and of the missionary and ad- 
ministrative organizations for their elevation, from the 
days of Ziegenbalg and Schwartz, near the beginning 
of the eighteenth century, to the middle of the nine- 
teenth. Not unfrequently, in the solitary rest of the 
Sabbath and on the receipt of letters from his wife and 
daughter, does he break forth into passages of devout 
meditation and joyful thanksgiving. The time was 
the very hottest of a hot year, in the sandy tracts of 
the palmyra-palm country to the north of Cape Como- 
rin, when for weeks the heavens were as brass and the 
earth as iron, and when, away from the coast, not a 
breath broke the tropical calm of the sultry day and 
the stifling night. The palankeen tour began at 
Madras on the 11th May, 1849 ; but we may best in- 
troduce the extracts from the Journal by this passage, 
written near Cape Comorin on the receipt of a letter 
from his daughter regarding his wife's health : 

" Why should I be over-anxious ? Has not the Lord 
hitherto wonderfully preserved ? Oh why should T, who have 

124 LIFE 0]? DE » DUFF. 1849. 

been the child of so many mercies, be faithless or doubting ? 
If any man living should trust in the Lord absolutely, and 
cast upon Him the burden of all his cares, personal, social, 
official, and domestic, surely I am that man. All my days I 
have been a child of Providence, the Lord leading me and 
guiding me in ways unknown to me — in ways of His own, 
and for the accomplishment of His own heavenly ends. Oh, 
that I were more worthy ! But, somehow, I feel as if the 
more marvellous the Lord's dealings with me, the more cold, 
heartless and indifferent I become. Is not this sad — is it not 
terrible ? All the finer ores are melted by the fire — the earthy 
clay is hardened. Oh gracious God, forbid that this should 
continue to be my doleful case ! May I not resemble the clay 
any more ! May I be like the gold and silver ore : when 
warmed and heated by the fire of Thy loving-kindnesses, may I 
be melted, fused, purified, refined, assimilated to Thy own holy 
nature. Lord, soften, break, melt, this hard heart of mine ! 

" This note-book is not intended as a record of my inner 
feelings, but I have been led unconsciously to write thus. 
May the Lord hear my prayer ! These jottings are not a 
complete record of what I have seen or thought upon. No ; 
only a few brief notes, hastily and crudely committed to writ- 
ing, to refresh my own memory, and to suggest trains of in- 
ference and reflection which I have no time to record now. 
I specially note this in case, through any unforeseen con- 
tingency, this should fall into other hands than my own. 
There is not a syllable in this MS. in such a form as I should 
stamp with ray imprimatur as fit to be given to the public. It 
is not so designed — how could it ? I am literally galloping 
over the country. Travelling by night — and almost every 
night — with only broken and unre freshing snatches of sleep 
in the palkee; and during the day either grilled in a solitary 
bungalow, or incessantly occupied, at a mission station, in talk- 
ing to friends, inspecting schools, or addressing adults or child- 
ren, how could I pretend to collect my thoughts or put them 
connectedly together ? But I note the fragments of a few 
scattered gleanings, merely to aid my own mind in afterwards 
reviewing the whole field, and gradually and deliberately 
forming my own conclusions. 

"May lllh, 1849. This evening, about eight o'clock, left 
our kind friends of the Mission, Madras, after addressing 


shortly the girls and young men and praying with all. Spoke 
about the necessity of self-denial and self-consecration: devoted 
lives are a more powerful preaching than burning words. 
Friends loaded me with kindness. 

" Heard the gun at eight o'clock on the Mount Road. A 
pleasantly cool night, but could sleep little, and that little 
broken and unrefreshing. On Mount Road the coolies com- 
plained that the tin cases were too heavy. What was to be 
done ? A respectably dressed native came up who spoke 
English; he stopped and assisted in explaining everything. 
I thanked him for his politeness, and said he had shown one 
feature of goodness, which consisted in showing kindness to 
the stranger. I gave him a few of the apples that a kind 
friend had put into one of the tin cases. He thanked me, and 
said he was one of Rhenius's Christians. ' Ah/ said I, ' that 
explains your kindness, so unlike the hard indifference of the 
heathen. I am a Christian, and welcome you as a brother in 
the Lord.' Verily, Christ is the Inspirer of love and good 

"Towards midnight the moon rose brightly. The road 
excellent, but few villages to be seen, and little real cultivation. 
Jungle everywhere instead of corn-fields. What is the cause ? 
It must be investigated. Land-tax partly, no doubt ; but the 
villainous exactions of underlings also. The system of in- 
terminable subdivision of land among children allows of no 
accumulation of capital. Hence no means of improvement; 
poverty everywhere increasing. The Gospel the only effectual 

" At daybreak found myself within five miles of Chingleput. 
Feverish from want of proper sleep, and the disturbance of the 
system by the shaking and jolting of the palkee. Stepped out 
to take a walk. The basin where I stood was flat. One or two 
large tanks or reservoirs of water — fresh, clear water — were in 
view. These, natural and assisted partly by art, are used for 
purposes of irrigation. They looked like small Scotch lakes at 
the foot of hills. Close to one of these I passed; from it issued 
a small, clear, purling brook. It was the first of the kind I had 
seen for years ; for in Bengal proper, clear, crystalline streams 
or brooks are nowhere to be found. All there is stagnant 
pond, or marsh, or muddy water. But here was a little rivulet 
of pure, fresh water. My emotions and fancy were vividly 

126 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

excited. I felt as if transported to the Grampians. I thought 
of the water of life, pure as crystal. I stepped from the 
roadside, and with the palms of the hand refreshed my dust- 
covered face and parched lips from the sparkling, gently mur- 
muring brook, lifted up my soul to God, and took courage. 

" The irrigated fields had on them rich green crops of rice. 
To see the naked granite masses rising here and there several 
feet above the surface from the very midst of luxuriant rice 
crops, was indeed a novel spectacle. Granite, the primordial 
rock, the backbone of the earth, associated often with nothing 
but the sterile peaks of Grampian and other lofty mountain 
ranges, in immediate and actual contact with thick green 
stalks of rice, was indeed a novel and surprising spectacle. 
The truth is, that nothing is wanting but capital, skill, 
industry, security and remunerativeness to turn the whole of 
this region into a paradise. By enlarging the present tanks 
and lakes, and excavating new ones, abundance of water might 
be collected for irrigation, and thus a perpetual summer and 
harvest might be the result. The hills might be clothed with 
wood of a useful description. All this would besides improve 
the climate, mitigate the scorching heat, and almost annihilate 
the hot winds. These hills, moreover, abound with minerals, 
of essential utility in the arts of life, which have never yet 
been turned to any good account, but which, in time, might 
be made to add indefinitely to the resources, the comforts and 
necessaries of the greatly multiplied people." 

So much for the Middlesex of South India, the first 
" jaghire " or principality acquired by the East India 
Company, which the devastations of Hyder Ali and 
the worse ravages of famine have thus marred, and 
the old ryotwaree system of land tenure and tax has 
prevented from recovering. The fort was taken by 
Clive from the French in 1752. Dr. Duff here showed 
a keen interest in the pottery experiments of the 
Scottish doctor, for which the Government had made 
a grant. Of the Sabbath when he preached to the 
residents he writes : " Had a quiet afternoon to medi- 
tate and to pray, the first I have enjoyed for many 


B^ Bath Johnston, F.R.S.E. 

English Miles 
IQO O 100 200 3QO 400 

70 LongLtcude E. 75 of Greenwich. 80 



Free Church Mission. 3ta/ions underlined 


weeks. Felt thankful and refreshed." At midnight 
he set out for Sadras, and continued to take the coast 
road by French Pondicheri, Cuddalore, Chillumbrum, 
Mayaveram, Danish Tranquebar, Combaconum, and 
Negapatam. After an unsuccessful attempt to cross 
by boat from Point Calimere to Jaffna in Ceylon, he 
struck inland to Trichinopoly and Madura, by weary, 
dustladen roads where now there is a busy railway. 
From Madura he made a second vain attempt, by 
Hamnad, to reach Ceylon, and therefore again struck 
inland to Palamcotta, just north of Cape Comorin. 
From that centre he went round the chief Christian 
stations of Tinnevelli. Thence he went to Trevandrum, 
on the west coast, by Nagercoil. Having studied the 
flourishing mission settlements in the intensely Brah- 
manical state of Travancore, and its northern neigh- 
bour of Cochin, he went up the Malabar coast, by its 
picturesque back-waters, crossed the Western Ghauts 
by the Arungole pass to Palamcotta and Tutticorin, 
from which he sailed to Colombo, the capital of Ceylon. 
At Point de Galle he took the mail steamer to Calcutta, 
where he delivered two lectures and a powerful ser- 
mon on his remarkable tour. The first described the 
missions in Tanjore and Tranquebar, the root of all 
Protestant evangelising in South India. The second 
discussed the condition of the Romanist and Syrian 
Churches, and of the black and white Jews in Cochin. 
The sermon was followed by the first account given up 
to that time by a competent outsider of the growth and 
" territorial " development of the Tinnevelli Church. 

Sadkas, Noon, May 14th. — "Beached weary, as usual, from the 
little sleep, and that little so broken, the occasional closeness, 
the flood of perspiration. No rest, till plunged in water — 
how reviving ! The air too is loaded with invisible, impalpable 
dust, which fills up the pores of the skin and produces a sad 
irritation there. But the cleansing efficacy of water ! To 

128 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

know the significancy of it, as the chosen type of the cleans- 
ing influence of the Holy Spirit, symbolized in baptism, one 
ought to be steeped in the dry, heated, dust-laden air of the 
Carnatic for a day and night; and after emerging from the 
water bath ! — ah, this is cleansing, with a keen sensation of 
deliverance from the cause of physical unrest and dis- 
quietude ! 

Aulamparna, Ihth. — " The sepoy at the Bungalow very atten- 
tive. When he was getting water for a bath, read a portion 
of the precious Bible on the verandah, and lifted up my soul 
to God, not forgetting my dear wife and daughter and the 
boys in Edinburgh — nor the friends left behind in Calcutta and 
Madras, nor their great work. Oh it is pleasing to^have the 
heart touched and melting by soothing remembrance of those 
that are dear to us, and linked by ties and relationships at once 
temporal and spiritual ! In my loneliness here, I feel as if more 
intimately and endearingly present than ever with distant 
beloved friends ! 

" Noon. — The cattle have been gathered in to escape the in- 
creasing heat, which goes on accumulating till four. They are 
taken into the palmyra grove, where there is almost a perfect 
shade. Looking at the intense luxuriance of this tropical herbage 
of every kind, herbage which in Europe we ever associate with 
the expensive luxury of greenhouses, the mansions and palaces 
of the titled gentry and nobility of the land, and contrasting 
the same with the half-naked, filthy, rudely clownish, woe-be- 
gone, care-toiled, miserable creatures that nestle in the midst 
of it all, calling it all their own, I am constantly struck with 
a resistless feeling of incongruity. The gorgeousness of this 
vegetable creation is not suited to the lank leanness and poverty- 
stricken tameness and wretchedness of the human. They are 
unsuited, unmatched. There is a painful sense of unadapted- 
ness in this respect. Such seeming natural riches in such close 
juxtaposition with such unnatural poverty. There is a sense 
of the incongruous produced by it which is positively painful. 
I feel somewhat, in gazing at it, as I would if gazing at a 
giant wedded to a dwarf, decrepit old age to youthful vigour, 
shocking deformity to exquisite beauty, or any other unre- 
sembling union. It is like a piece of untempered mortar im- 
bedded or embosomed in a casket of pure gold, or splinters of 
trap or whiustone locked up and cabineted in a network of 


diamond, ruby and other gems. I have no words wherewith 
to portray the strength or the painfulness of this sensation of 
incongruity. Surely it was not so always. Oh no. No incon- 
gruity between the first man and the first paradise. Intellec- 
tual beauty, heart holiness and physical loveliness adorned 
the first happy pair; and a paradise bestud and garnished 
with all the exuberant excellences of a world that had received 
the Almighty's blessing was their fitting habitation. Such 
an abode was worthy of such an inhabitant ; and such an in- 
habitant of such an abode ! But the harmony, the congruity, 
the parallelism, no longer exists. Prospects the most pleasing 
are now tenanted by men the most vile. Gracious God ! is 
one apt to exclaim, are these poor, ignorant, superstitious, 
savage-looking people the descendants of him made in the 
image of God, and the noble occupant of the bowers of para- 
dise ? It is even so. Alas, alas! How has the gold become 
dim, and the most fine gold changed ! But blessed be God, 
there is yet hope. Through the second Adam, even these 
forlorn specimens of human degeneracy may be reclaimed. 
This is the great design of the gospel. It is to regenerate, 
renovate, beautify and ennoble the nature of man, to make 
him worthy of an earthly paradise, and, by removing the 
curse, reconstitute the earth into a paradise fit for his recep- 
tion ! 

Pondicheei, 16th. — " This French town is admirably laid 
out, and quite a model for a tropical city. Saw the Governor's 
house in passing; and the vast and splendid church edifice 
erected by the Jesuits, when their Mission was in the climax 
of its prosperity. Great numbers of the natives are still 
nominally Christian, that is, popish idolaters usurping the 
Christian name. Pondicheri (Pudu, or Puthu, Cheri, literally 
New Town) was once the most splendid European establishment 
in India. It was first given to a French merchant named 
Martin in 1672. To it resorted a number of colonists expelled 
by the Dutch from St. Thome, and the remains of an un- 
successful expedition against Trinomalee, possessed also by 
the Dutch. The system of French policy did open and un- 
necessary violence to the prejudices and customs of the natives. 
Lally forced them to work in the trenches and do other 
military duties which rudely interfered with the law and 
usages of caste. Dupleix actually destroyed their temples. 


I3O LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

At one time the French Government forbade any natives to 
reside within its boundaries who did not embrace the Romish- 
Christian faith. To this extreme persecuting, intolerant, inter- 
fering spirit, in part, may be attributed the bad odour of the 
French with the native powers, and their rapid decline. The 
British, again, went to the other extreme — not of mere toler- 
ance, but of direct, active support of native prejudices and 
superstitions. This was very revolting. 

" The French persecuted the Hindoo faith and upheld the 
Romish by unlawful means ; the English persecuted the 
Christian faith and upheld the Hindoo by unlawful means. 
The French admitted Native Christians into their service, in 
every department ; and so far well. But such admission was 
effected in a way not only to encourage proselytism, but to 
necessitate a vast amount of hypocrisy. The English, again, 
with the perfection of unreasonableness, prohibited Native 
Christians from entering their service in any department, 
and thus obtrusively and unwarrantably discouraged all con- 
version from Hindooism — in other words, the progress of the 
blessed gospel among this benighted people. This, probably, 
is one of the causes of the slow progress of Christianity in the 
land. As the French Popish Church has done so much for this 
part of India, why should not the French Protestant Church 
awake to its duty, and send its missionaries here, as it has 
done to South Africa ? Already are there German and 
American missionaries in the Indian field ; why not add the 
French ? 

Cuddalore, \7tJi. — "I am now in the heart of the collec- 
torate or county of South Arcot, a name of frequent recur- 
rence in the eventful story of British India. What has the 
Christian Church done for this large district ? Almost nothing. 
A few itineracies, ephemeral and unimpressive, while the 
Jesuits have founded mighty establishments. Only one Pro- 
testant missionary stationed in the whole district ! That is a 
Propagation Society one, at Cuddalore; while it contains some 
of the strongest holds of idolatry — Chillumbrum and Trino- 
malee, described by Mr. Smith, now alas ! no more, and whoso 
was the first missionary house I ever entered in India, i.e., 
at Madras, May, 1830. 

" To-day despatched a letter to Calcutta, to my dear 
partner, enclosing a familiar epistle to the dear boys in Edin- 


burgh — giving an account of my journey, fitted, I hope, to 
interest them. They are much in my thoughts and in my 
prayers. I feel as if I had not prayed enough for them. May 
the Lord forgive me for such shortcomings ! Indeed, I may 
here record the fact, that, though given much to inward de- 
votional meditation, I feel a difficulty in committing these 
more private thoughts and feelings to writing. If this be 
wrong, may the Lord forgive me and teach me better in the 
time to come ! To-day has been the hottest I have yet felt. 
At noon not a breath of air. The sultriness and the scorching 
heat dreadful. All around is still as death, as if all nature 
were paralysed. No animal, no bird, to be seen or heard, no 
human creature; all are laid flat, glad to exist, to survive with 
a bare consciousness of being without the ability or the wish 
to exhibit any signs of active life. About two a slight 
breeze sprang up from the sea ; and though it never increased 
much, it was like the letting in of water from heaven's reser- 
voirs on a languid drooping vegetation. 

"Fort St. David, the first occupied by the British in India, 
lies to the north-west. As I passed out of Cuddalore, I could 
not but think of it in ruins, while the originally small and 
obscure company of British merchants, — by whom the fort was 
intended to afford a precarious existence in a foreign land, then 
ruled over by the mightiest of Asiatic potentates, — has since 
risen to the rank of sovereigns of the most powerful empire in 
the East, an empire that has swallowed up all others from the 
happy vale of Kashmir to Cape Comorin ! The Company once 
depended on Fort St. David for its existence; the same 
Company now, installed into the office and throne of the Great 
Moghul, has so many mighty fortresses on which waves the 
flag of its uncontrolled sovereignty, that it can afford to allow 
the ruins of Fort St. David to be converted into materials for 
road-making and bridge-building and other works of utility 
and peace. 

" While reminded of Edinburgh, by the local nomenclature 
of 'old' and 'new town/ it was not a topographical association 
alone that brought it vividly to my remembrance last evening. 
Six o'clock here would be almost noon in Edinburgh. Yes- 
terday, Thursday, May the 17th, was the day on which the 
great and solemn General Assembly of our Church would con- 
vene in Edinburgh. And I could not but feel exhilarated at 

132 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

the thought that, about the time when I was emerging from 
Cuddalore, the first possession of the British in India, the 
members of Assembly would be meeting in Edinburgh for 
the worship of the great God previous to entering on their 
deliberations, on whose result so much of the spiritual peace 
and prosperity of Scotland and the world may depend. The 
temporal sword of the Company, which first sought for itself 
only a quiet mercantile settlement at Cuddalore, has beaten 
down every barrier to the residence and labours of British 
Christians in this land. Will not the Church now arise, and, 
wielding the spiritual sword as vigorously, beat down every 
barrier to the reign of the Prince of light and peace, in this 
dark and long distracted realm ! If the congregated members 
of Assembly could only witness with their own eyes what I 
beheld this morning, methinks, like St. Paul of old when 
entering the city of Athens, their hearts would be exceedingly 
stirred up within them. 

Chillumbrum, 18th, two o'clock, p.m. — "When I left Madras, 
this day week, the thermometer in one of the coolest houses 
stood at 97° in the shade. The heat has been increasing ever 
since. Yesterday, the heat was terrific during the lull between 
the land wind and the sea breeze. To-day, being farther 
inland, I found it still worse. This is a wonderful climate. 
Surely it may be ranked as one of the chief natural impediments 
to the spread of the gospel. Here I am all alone, seated in 
this bungalow ; for I have resolved not to lie down in the day, if 
the Lord will give me strength at all to sit up. The tendency 
is to languor and drowsiness and vegetativeness. At this hour 
the natives all around in every direction are asleep ; and there 
is a stillness like that of the Scottish Sabbath. But, oh, it is 
a suspension here — and a temporary suspension too — of the 
laborious activities of heathenism ! I keep myself awake by 
keeping the mind in constant employment. I write, I read, 
I meditate alternately. I cannot note the ten thousand 
thoughts that flit like the rapidly evanishing clouds on 
a gay day in summer or harvest at home, leaving, I fear, 
just as little of the profitable and the permanent. I touch 
the table, I draw back my hand, it is so hot. I take a sip 
of water, it is more than tepid, more than lukewarm — it is 
positively hot. Books — everything I touch is hot. When I 
write, no matter however heavily, the ink is not out of the 

JEt 43- THE HEAT OP MAY. 1 33 

pen when it is dry on the paper. No need of blotting paper, 
or sand, or any other artificial contrivance here. The hot air 
answers the purpose quite, and at no expense. The perspir- 
ation is oozing out in globules at every pore; and looking at 
it, I could say, almost visibly evaporating. This, however, 
is a refrigerant in its way. If the perspiration were checked, 
how torturing and feverish ! After a dead lull, the hot wind 
comes in in gusts ; they are literally like hot blasts from the 
mouth of the furnace. Having once visited the bottle-works 
at Leith, I never can forget the sensation when standing near 
the man who opened the mouth of the furnace, to rake the 
liquid materials within. The heat beat upon me like a hot 
arrow ; I thought I was felled or suffocated. Precisely simi- 
lar is the sensation which I have repeatedly had this day. 
And if it be such inside a well-sheltering bungalow, what must 
it be outside, under the direct influence of this terrible sun ? 
What an impediment to all locomotion and active personal 
exertion ! At home one rejoices in a dry warm summer day, 
as favourable to intended visitation and usefulness. But here, 
this dry warm summer day, the 18th May, is so dry and warm, 
that it compels a man to remain as quiet as he can in the 
house, in order to have some chance of barely existing or 
passively vegetating. What a terrible obstacle is this to 
active, all-pervading missionary exertion ! 

Teanquebar, 21st. — "This is the classic land of modern Pro- 
testant Missions, the region so often trodden by Ziegenbalg 
and Schwartz and their associates. To the north of the 
Coleroon scarcely a ray of light has penetrated the heathen 
gloom. Yesterday attended the Tamul service in the small 
native chapel at Mayaveram. The ritual was Lutheran. A 
native catechist acted as clerk. There is an altar, from which 
part of the service was read and part chaunted very beauti- 
fully; the singing was also very good. There were about 
thirty-six present — some of the elderly persons very devout, 
some of the young not so. After service I spoke words of 
exhortation to the natives, through Mr. Ockes as interpreter.-" 
Afterwards, " he spoke much of the Christian poet of Tanjore, 
a remarkable old man, who has written from twenty to thirty 
volumes of poetry of different kinds, chiefly connected with 
Christianity, and exposures of heathenism. He showed the 
MS. of one, in which the daily, hourly, and momently super- 

134 LIFE OF Dll. DUFF. 1849. 

stitions of the heathen were depicted at length and indicated 
with much power of sarcasm. He promised me a translation of 
it. It seems that the poetry is set to such tunes as are 
highly popular among the Tamulians, and that the heathen 
will often listen to a rehearsal of these poems, though severely 
condemnatory of idolatry, when they would turn aside from 
a sermon altogether. But Mr. Ockes directed my attention 
to another person, if possible still more remarkable; that is 
a daughter of the poet, between thirty and forty years of age. 
Her husband, being a caste Christian, has employment in the 
Collector's. She knows a little of Sanskrit, speaks and writes 
Tamul with great effect, and speaks and writes English with 
equal fluency. Not for pay, but as a gratuity of kindness to- 
wards her neighbours, alike Christian and heathen, she teaches 
a number of their boys, varying from six to ten, the English 
language. I asked her what books she made them read. She 
said, 'such. as she could obtain/ ' After the spelling books/ 
she * taught English grammar, with the irregular verbs and 
other parts ; the English Bible, the Universal Letter Writer, 
with cutchery (judicial) papers and accounts !' She asked 
me all manner of questions about my family, about Calcutta 
and mission work there, about Scotland, not forgetting ' Shet- 
land/ to show her knowledge of geography. I never met 
such a Hindoo female, one exhibiting such versatile talents 
and varied acquirements of a kind so utterly foreign to her 
class. On our way to the house of this remarkable woman, 
I exhorted her to steadfastness and perseverance in her Chris- 
tian course. 

" In Tranquebar to-day I entered, opposite the Mission-house, 
the church erected with so much trouble by the holy and per- 
severing Ziegenbalg. It has on its front a crown in large 
bas-relief; and beneath it the date, 1718. Its erection was 
one of Ziegenbalg's last works. It is called New Jerusalem, as 
the old or first church, reared by Ziegenbalg after his arrival in 
1 706, and called Jerusalem, has since been swept into the sea, 
which has been palpably encroaching on this coast. The church 
is built in the form of a cross, each wing being of equal size. 
If the centre had a dome, instead of an ordinary roof, it might 
seem after the model of St. Paul's, London, on a small scale. 
The pulpit is at one of the centre corners, so as to be seen 
from every part of the building. I mounted the pulpit ; and 


with no ordinary emotion gazed around from the position from 
which Ziegenbalg, and Grimdler, and Schwartz, etc., so often 
proclaimed a free salvation to thousands in Tamul, German^ 
Danish, and Portuguese. At the end of one of the wings, on 
either side of a plain altar, lie the mortal remains of Ziegenbalg 
and Grundler. I stood with not easily expressed feelings over 
the remains of two such men, of brief but brilliant and immortal 
career in the mighty work of Indian evangelization. Theirs 
was a lofty and indomitable spirit, breathing the most fervid 

u Afterwards went to the house in which Ziegenbalg lived, 
having been planned and erected by himself. Entering a 
gateway, with shrubs on either side, the space widened. On 
the left was the dwelling of the devoted and untiring man; in 
front, a small chapel ; on either side of it, at the farther end, 
other buildings appeared, in which were assembled the children 
of his celebrated boarding-schools, but divided from each other, 
so that there was no access from the one to the other ; but an 
open door from each into the chapel, for Divine service. The 
dwelling-house is still entire, very neatly and commodiously 
planned. In it are the remains of the famous old library of the 
German Mission in a state of sad dilapidation — splendid old 
tomes of massive divinity in German and Latin, folios and 
quartos and octavos, almost all without their boards, and tied 
up with strings to prevent the leaves from falling away or 
being blown about by the winds ; many of them in an utterly 
unreadable state. Bishop Middleton offered four thousand 
pagodas for the library in his day; since then it has been 
miserably neglected. No one was authorized to accept 
the bishop's offer, hence the library is lost. But what I felt 
most for was the pile of MSS., partly in German and partly in 
Latin, in the handwriting of the old missionaries. Some of 
these MSS. have disappeared — how or whither nobody can 
tell ; only the dregs now remain, in a wretched condition. Why 
does not some one rummage among them, pick out the best, and 
have them published to the world ? Some time ago, the pre- 
sent keeper of the library told me a mass of books and 
papers were in so decayed and useless a state that he got them 
all sold as waste paper, for three rupees ! The report is cur- 
rently credited that many of them were used as wadding for 
the guns of the Fort. Ziegenbalg's domestic chapel is now 

136 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

in a filthy state, filled with the mouldering records of the 
Danish Government. The schools are partly in existence and 
partly dilapidated. 

11 Copied the inscription in the church over Ziegenbalg's tomb. 
Certainly he was a great missionary, considering that he was 
the first; inferior to none, scarcely second to any that fol- 
lowed him. Less shining than Schwartz, he had probably 
more of spiritual unction and power, and simple-minded zeal, 
and devotedness, and practical wisdom. How affecting to 
think of the wonderful labours of such men nearly a century 
and half ago; and those of their successors, continued in 
some shape up to this hour; and yet to look at the town of 
Tranquebar, and ask for the results ! A few Danes and 
Dutch are there still; though the place, a few years ago, 
was transferred, by purchase, to the British Government. 
There is a Collector there, and some other officials. The 
Portuguese, once so renowned, are now almost gone. There 
are not above fifty or sixty in the whole town. The Portu- 
guese services, to which Ziegenbalg paid so much attention, 
are nearly, therefore, at an end; the large church being used 
almost exclusively for Tamuls from the neighbourhood. As 
for Native Christians, where are they ? In the town of Tran- 
quebar, with its four thousand inhabitants, there are not now 
twenty Native Christians ! There are a considerable number of 
Popish Native Christians, the Goa sect combining with the 
French Jesuits. Perhaps a thousand Romanists ! 

"Why is the Protestant Mission, on which such time and 
strength and labour have been lavished, so languid ? It is most 
melancholy. One of the missionaries, in trying to account for it, 
attributed it very much to the fact that the men who succeeded 
the early fathers of the Mission, were not of like spirit with 
them. Schwartz, it is known, joined the Propagation Society. 
Since 1760, the Mission languished, from want of men of 
spiritual power, faith and love. The rationalism of Germany 
infected even the missionaries. Towards the close of last cen- 
tury the Mission became as dead as the Protestant Churches 
in Germany; and continued so well up through the present 
century. During the early part of this century, when the Ger- 
man missionaries died out, their place was supplied by Danish. 
They too were lifeless, and the work retrograded. Then, 
about eight or nine years ago, after the Protestantism of 


Germany was fairly roused, a National Lutheran Missionary 
Society was formed, meant to embrace all the Lutheran Churches 
in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, etc. This society took up 
the Tranquebar Mission, about to be wholly abandoned by 
Denmark. When the colony was transferred to the British, 
the Mission property was reserved ; it was meant to be trans- 
ferred to the German Mission, but the official legal documents 
have not yet reached, so that it is in abeyance. The church, 
however, is given for use to the missionaries ; but Ziegen- 
balg's house, chapel, and schools, are kept by the British 
Government till the official orders, as to the disposal of 
them, are received from home. 

" Throughout all the neighbouring villages there are sup- 
posed to be about two thousand native Christians, men, 
women and children. One-third of them are caste Christians, 
two-thirds Pariahs. Little is done in the way of Christian 
education, and that little shallow and imperfect. There is a 
school in the adjoining village of Puriar, where some English is 
taught. The caste Christians are Soodras, of the right hand 
and left. They will not eat or intermarry with Pariahs, nor 
sit promiscuously even in the house of God. The Soodra 
Christians sit apart, and the Pariahs by themselves. Argued 
the subject of caste at great length with Mylius, who thoroughly 
took up the caste side. I did not know before that the Ger- 
mans made the matter one of religious creed and ecclesiastical 

Negapatam, 23rd. — " Waited on Mr. Strickland, of the 
Jesuit Mission, by appointment. He received me in his own 
room, poor-looking indeed. A bedstead, chair and table, two 
tin boxes raised on wood, with travelling bag, constituted 
the whole furniture. The floor, beaten mud. Strickland is 
an Englishman, young, about thirty apparently. He has 
been here only two or three years. He is a relative of Miss 
Strickland, the authoress of the ' Lives of the Queens of Eng- 
land/ But her branch of the family, a century ago, became 

* For all the facts, see History of the Tranquebar Mission, by the 
Danish Fenger, translated into German and English by Dr. Emil 
Francke. Tranquebar, 1863. For the caste question, see Bishop 
Wilson's Life, by Bateman, and the Proceedings and Resolutions of 
the Conference of 120 Missionaries at Bangalore, in June, 1879. 

138 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

Protestant. And Sir George W. Strickland, M.P., is of that 
branch, the Jesuit having it that he obtained his baronetcy 
as a bribe for changing his faith. He asked if I had seen the 
' Lives/ I said I had. Had I seen her Elizabeth and Mary ? 
Yes. Does she not make out a very different character for 
them than that usually given ? I admitted the fact, and 
lamented her subtle insinuating leanings towards Popery, lie 
said ho had heard that Miss Strickland had become Catholic, 
but was not sure. 

"Xavier originated the Mission. Thousands were converted 
along the coast, but the people of the interior were obstiuate 
and prejudiced. Robert de Nobili came, assumed the garb of 
a Brahman in order to win natives to Christ, as also many of 
the forms and manners of Brahraanism, such as were not sup- 
posed to interfere with the doctrines of Catholicism. But dis- 
putes arose. Robert might be so far wrong, but his errors were 
exaggerated. At length the pope forbade certain practices ; 
but the Brahman converts, rather than leave these, renounced 
their Christianity. Various success till about the end of last 
century, when, by the labours and intrigues of the French 
philosophers, the order of Jesuits was unhappily abolished by the 
pope. Then the pope requested the Archbishop of Goa to send 
what priests he could to the different stations, to keep Catho- 
licism in existence. The Portuguese once in the ascendant, Goa 
became supreme. But since the Portuguese were banished, and 
Goa reduced to a corner, it was unreasonable that it should 
be sovereign over India, under the change of dynasty. So the 
pope at last settled that Bombay, Madras and Calcutta be seats 
of sees ; in 1865, it was resolved that the Jesuits should proceed 
to India (the order being revived) and reassume their own. 
They come everywhere, with the pope's commission, and order 
the Goa priests to decamp. The latter refuse ; hence the schism 
and quarrel about property. The latter the Jesuits claim as all 
their own ; the Goanists resist. The latter in state of eccle- 
siastical rebellion. Being priests, their administration of ordi- 
nances were valid, though not legal, being in an attitude of 
defiance to the pope. 

" The large buildings here were set on fire by the Goa priests 
and their party. Hence necessity for new edifice. Strickland 
travelled everywhere, and obtained by address and importunity 
large sums of money. The plan of a really magnificent 


structure has been approved. It is of three storeys; has 
ample accommodation for professors and students, European 
and native. The first storey of the front range or elevation 
already completed. It is said that fifty or sixty thousand 
rupees have been obtained by Strickland for it, from natives, 
Europeans, Christians, Protestants and heathen. At present 
twelve fathers are here — six new, learning the language, six 
stationary. There are twenty-five native youths, most of 
them, gratuitously taught, some of them to be agents. Half 
a dozen are sons of Europeans. The most complete classical 
education is given, as the accompanying prospectus will 
show. These pay board, some twenty-five, some fifteen rupees 
per month. The fathers have no personal property, but a 
common fund or stock. Strickland came out at his own 
expense, took money and other property with him ; when he 
reached Tanjore it all went to the common fund. In the great 
fire his library of books, worth eighty pounds, was burnt ; a 
friend in England sent him out a hundred pounds to replace 
it, the money went into the common stock. He knows not 
what has been made of it. He receives a salary for acting 
as chaplain to the Popish soldiers in Trichinopoly ; he never 
sees it, it goes into the common stock. Food and raiment 
are provided them out of this stock, which in the aggregate 
amounts only to an ordinary average of twenty-five rupees 
per month ! Besides this they get no salary. When any- 
thing extra is required for travelling, etc., the want is stated 
to the superior, and supplied by him if the fund admits of it. 
The former Jesuits tried to live out-and-out like natives, on 
rice and water. This did well for a year or so, while European 
strength lasted. But, by-and-bye, they got weak, their 
system relaxed, they took ill of cholera or other disease, 
and died like rotten sheep. In this way, in eight years, 
sixteen were cut off. This mortality was wondered at, till a 
brother of Lord Clifford came out as missionary. He with 
his English habits and strong practical sense, soon found out 
the cause, wrote home to the General in Pome for an order, 
which enjoined the fathers to live better, in order to save 
their lives. This they have done, though simply. That is, 
they take daily a little fresh meat, such as mutton, fowls, etc., 
but no beef, out of respect to prejudices of natives. As to 
drink, if one is unwell or weakly a little wine is allowed; but 

I4O LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1849. 

tlie ordinary fare is, to take a bottle of brandy, make it into 
four by mixing it with, water, and allow one wine-glass of 
this grog daily at dinner for each father. This is little; but 
it helps digestion. It is only as an extreme measure, in curing 
drunken soldiers, that total abstinence literally is to be insisted 
on. They wear a sort of white or yellow gown and red cap. 
This reconciles the natives to them. They also keep no Pariah 
servants, except horse grooms — all caste men. 

"He allowed caste to be of superstitious origin, and evil 
in some of its workings ; but good when worked properly for 
right ends. I asked him to explain. For instance, if a man 
begin to disobey — live immorally or such like — he may despise 
the priest and his ecclesiastical censures ; and these censures 
cannot be executed (at least at present, added the Jesuit with 
emphasis) ; but if the head man of the caste threatens the 
offender with loss of caste if he do not mend his ways, he 
instantly attends to this ; since to lose caste would be to lose 
kith and kin, and be hurried adrift from house and home and 
everything valued here below. This was one example of the 
right use of caste. The number of native Romish proselytes 
south of the Cauvery to Comorin he reckoned at between 
125,000 and 150,000. Unless Goa priests, most of these he 
admitted to be extremely ignorant, but now they are all to be 

" The adults to be taught ? Yes ! not indeed to write or 
read, for he and his order saw no necessity for the mass to 
learn so. But orally they were to be taught creed, command- 
ments, and prayers, so that they should not be ignorant of the 
doctrines of their Church. Thus little knowledge is necessary 
to salvation. If they get a few elementary fragments and 
the water of regeneration, so as to give them a chance of 
getting to heaven, this is all that would be attempted in their 
case. But the children of Native Christians, what of them ? 
Those of the great mass not to be taught reading, but to be 
instructed orally like the parents. He was an enemy to the 
forcing of education, in the ordinary sense, upon all ; and to 
force a high education on the majority he did not approve. 
But the door would be opened to the capable. They would 
have schools for the able and the willing; and a college (at 
Negapatam) for the best scholars to obtain a high education ; 
especially such as were destined to be agents for propagating 


the gospel. They had one native now who had passed the 
first part of his novitiate towards being a full priest, and five 
or six more preparing. But he did not expect many fit to 
be guides and leaders to supply place of Europeans, for two 
or three centuries to come. At present all the leaders must 
come from Europe; but in eight or ten years he expected all 
their missions to be self-supporting, as to temporal means. 
There were now between thirty and forty Jesuits in the 
southern districts ; fifteen or sixteen had arrived within the 
last two years. While theoretically they did not soon expect 
a native ministry, they were doing more to secure it than most 
of those who are always crying out about the necessity of 
raising it. 

" I asked whether they did not owe much of their success to 
the use of pictures, forms, and ceremonies — more fitted to 
tickle and captivate the senses, than to eplighten the under- 
standing, or affect the heart with spiritual impressions. He 
acknowledged that they made large use of visible representa- 
tions, signs, pictures, etc. Many of these were disagreeable 
to themselves; they would rather not have them. But the 
people were children led by the senses. And if they gave 
them only dry sermons, they never would get on. The people 
must have something to fascinate the senses ; but through these, 
they aimed at the awakening of more spiritual sensibilities. 
And as the people were rude and gross, the pictures, etc., 
were often so too. This arose from necessity, not design. 
Such was ' the state of the arts ' amongst them, that any- 
thing more refined was beyond their taste or power of compre- 
hension. But, I said, was not the tendency of dealing so much in 
the sensuous, only to keep the people sensuous still — in a state 
of pupillage and perpetual imbecility ? Was it not to rivet the 
chains of sense upon them ? Was it not to externalize the mind, 
instead of subduing the dominion of external objects, and 
leading the soul to high and heavenly contemplations ? He 
did not think so. Their wish and hope were that the people 
might be gradually led along the ladder of the senses to 
better things. The ears must be stunned with sounds, the 
eyes glared with visible portraitures, and the other senses 
regaled with objects connected with sacredness, so as ulti- 
mately the inner man might be reached. I asked, if such a 
method of procedure was not fitted to prevent the sou! 

142 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

from ever attaining to the spiritual meditative mood of Thomas 
a Kenipis, Fenelon and Pascal ? He allowed it was so, in the 
first instance, but it could not be helped, the people were so 

" He then asked what I thought of the condition of the 
Israelites, intellectually and morally, when they came out of 
Egypt, as compared with the Hindoos. I perceived his design. 
It was no doubt this, that if I said they were highly refined 
and civilized, he would argue that if God gave such a people 
such a multitude of ceremonies, why should not they to the 
Hindoos ? But not believing the Israelites to be so refined, I 
answered that, after the bondage and oppression of two hundred 
years, they were slaves, and had all the lowness, grossness, 
and carnality of slavish heads and hearts, and so required a 
very severe discipline of forty years in the wilderness partially 
to cure them, and even then they continued a stifFnecked, 
backsliding, idolatrously inclined people. Why, then, did 
God give them such ceremonies, etc. ? Because theirs was a 
preparatory ceremonial of types and shadows, to serve the 
purpose of schooling and discipline until the substance came. 
When the substance came, in the one great propitiatory 
all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ, then the types and shadows 
were done away. The system developed itself, unfolded itself, 
unshelled or unkernelled, or unlocked, or uncabineted itself, 
into the purely spiritual, the unchanging, the eternal. And 
ultroneously to impose forms and ceremonies now, when the 
spiritual economy was introduced, was worse than to impose 
the toys and rattles and garb of childhood on the man. It 
was to perpetuate the childhood, and render the mani- 
festation of the manhood impossible. He of course differed 
from this view of the case; but seemed to feel a little awkward 
in opposing it. 

" I then asked whether it was true, that, not satisfied with 
mere pictures and sounds, they resorted to still more imposing 
representations, even such as were of a downright theatrical 
character : whether, for example, at Easter, the whole scene 
of the trial of our Saviour before Pilate, and the crucifixion 
itself, was not exhibited by living personages on a stage ? 
He admitted it was, but not wholly by living persons : 
that the different characters were usually represented by 
wooden figures as large as life : that these were fastened on 


poles which pierced into them from beneath : that they were 
carried by men in such a way that only the moving figures 
were visible to the audience — a screen interposing between the 
carriers and the audience : that he knew only of Pilate being 
acted by a living man : that the service was read giving an 
account of the whole as narrated in the Gospels, and that the 
different figures were introduced and acted their part as 
speakers, through the men that carried them, in succession, 
after the manner of a sacred drama ; and that he regarded 
all this as only a more living, graphic, affecting picture to aid 
the conception and quicken the sensibilities — exciting towards 
the different objects the feelings respectively due. He also 
allowed, that at the hour which the Catholic Church has fixed on 
as that on which the Saviour rose, the Resurrection, repre- 
sented by wooden figures and living persons, is carried about 
in procession, round the church or through the town ! To- 
wards the saints they wished to excite reverence, not worship. 
" He asked whether I did not consider the recent rise and 
growing ascendancy of the Romish Church as remarkable ? I 
did so. He considered this as a sign of the Church being the 
true one, while Protestantism was at a discount all over the 
world. The latter proposition I denied; as respected the 
former I stated that, far from regarding the present revival of 
the Church of Rome as a proof of its being the true one, in 
common with other Protestants I noted it as an infallible sign 
of its being the false and counterfeit one ! He looked aston- 
ished, and asked how I could think so ? I told him, from our 
interpretation of prophecy we expected, and Protestant inter- 
preters centuries ago expected, that the Romish Church, after 
having sunk and decayed through the great Reformation, 
would again revive, and obtain a short-lived ascendancy — pre- 
paratory, however, only to its speedy, final and irretrievable 
destruction. He marvelled still more ; and asked what pro- 
phecies I referred to. I told him among others, to the latter 
nortion of Revelation. ' Ah/ said he, 'you think Rome to be 
Babylon ? ' ' Yes, I do — the Babylon, the mother of harlots, 
red and drunk with the blood of saints, destined ultimately to 
be utterly annihilated/ He said, I would not long think this 
if I was acquainted with Catholic writers. I asked him if 
he considered Bossuet's Treatise, the articles of the Council of 
Trent, the creed of Pope Pius IV., and such like, to be fair 

144 ™E OF DE. DUFF. 1849. 

exposes of the Romish system ? He said he did. f Then/ said 
I, * in these and such like Popish documents I have studied the 
system ; and having done so, my opinion of it is what I have 
stated.' He asked what doctrines in particular I objected to. I 
stated a few, but said their name was Legion, and it would 
require a pretty long catalogue only to enumerate them. 

" I asked what he considered the chief impediments to the 
spread of Christianity in South India ? He said the character 
of the natives — especially caste — their apathy, their weakness 
of mind, etc. Second, the conduct of the British Government 
in not encouraging Christians in its service, but rather the 
contrary. The natives will not become Protestants, it is too 
tame, bare, naked for them ; become Catholics they dare not, 
as they would then have little chance of promotion in good 
offices. If not for this hindrance, thousands more would at 
once become Catholics. In passing through the hall where 
native pupils assembled saw several pictures, as usual. 
Among others the Virgin treading on the head of the ser- 
pent ; because, said he, ' we interpret the passage about the 
seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent, of the 
woman, the virgin mother, bruising the head.' 

" He attributed the failure, as he called it, of Protestant 
missions to the fact of their being upheld by Churches that be- 
longed not to the true one. I attributed the apparent success 
of the Popish missions to the use of means which could be 
employed only by the false Church. Moreover, I insisted on 
it, that genuine success was not to be reckoned by numbers or 
quantity, but by quality. Estimated by this test, I showed 
that Protestant missions, as a whole, are no failure, gave some 
particulars respecting the results of our own Missions at Madras 
and Calcutta, and solemnly averred my belief that we had 
converts, whom, in point of intellectual culture, and heart 
purity, and graciousness of disposition, and self-denial and 
proofs of integi'ity, the Popish missions could not parallel. He 
allowed that if, as he fancied, Protestant missions had failed, 
it was not for want of zeal or ability or devotedness. In par- 
ticular, he said this was the opinion of the fathers respecting 
myself. I took the compliment at what it was worth." * 

* See Catholic Missions in Southern India, to 1865. By Rev. W. 
Strickland, S.J., and T. W. M. Marshall, Esq. (Longmans). 


First at Chill umbrum and again at Combaconum 
Dr. Daff entered the great country of pagodas. 
The famous Dravidian dynasties of the Pandyas, the 
Cholas and the Cheras, have left behind them in 
Madura, along the Cholamandalam or Coromandel 
coast, and in the western districts including Mysore 
and the Kailas of Elora, temples and palaces which so 
good an authority as Mr. James Fergusson, D.C.L., 
pronounces " as remarkable a group of buildings as 
are to be found in provinces of similar extent in any 
part of the world, Egypt, perhaps, alone excepted, 
but they equal even the Egyptian in extent." The de- 
vastating iconoclasm of the Muhammadan invader did 
not penetrate so far as Tanjore, till the aggressiveness 
of Islam in India had been exhausted or driven back. 
Against the perfect mosques of marble and cities of 
forts and palaces in Hindostan — perfect in their archi- 
tectural beauty and strength as even the Saracenic 
structures are not — the Dravidic Brahmans of the 
south, allied to the Moghuls in race, can set build- 
ings which surpass even these in the finish of details, 
though altogether barbarous compared with these, in 
the falseness of their design. As if in unconscious 
mockery of divine revealings, the city of priests and 
prostitutes, which forms the Vaishnava or Sivaite 
temple, lies four-square for a mile on each side, 
entered by imposing gateways and dominated by 
towers of gigantic height. But as you pass through 
court after court to the hideous gloom of the con- 
temptible sanctuary, and approach the obscene pene- 
tralia, the buildings diminish in size and elaboration, 
producing what even the pure architect pronounces 
" bathos." Of such in the Tanjore district alone 
there are upwards of thirty groups, any one of which 
has cost more to build, even in a land of cheap 
labour and oppressive superstition, than an Euglish 

vol. 11. 1 

I46 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1849. 

cathedral.* The most imposing mass of all is the 
Seringham pagoda, near Trichinopoly. That " it is 
severe and in good taste throughout" is ascribed to 
the fact that its completion was arrested by the 
French and English wars. If it grew from less to 
greater, instead of greater to less, Mr. Fergusson 
declares it would be one of the finest temples in the 
south of India. 

"Anxious to improve time," writes Dr. Duff, the 
keenest and most thoughtful of travellers, "I got an 
order from the Collector, Mr. Onslow, to visit the great 
pagoda." His companions were Colonel and Mrs. 
Wahab, who had been Dr. Wilson's hosts long before 
at Jalna, and Captain Boswell, worthy brother of an 
evangelical chaplain in Calcutta, well known in those 

" There are not fewer than seven great courts or squares 
each surmounted by a high and massive wall one within the 
other, with a considerable space between. Each great square 
has its own gigantic granite entrances, surmounted by vast 
columns or towers in the middle of each wall of the square. 
The towers are covered all over with the usual mythologic 
sculptures. Each of these open courts is surrounded by 
minor shrines, small mandapums or Brahmanical receptacles. 
Through six of them we were allowed to pass, but the seventh 
is like 'the holy of holies/ impassable by any but the sacred 
Brahmans, who revel within without fear of interruption from 
unholy gaze or unholy tread. Close to the seventh court is 
the great mandapum for pilgrim worshippers, a covered roof 
sustained by a thousand pillars wider apart and much loftier 
than those of Conjeveram. To the roof of this we were taken, 
whence we surveyed the whole, our attention being specially 
directed to the gilded dome over the shrine of the principal 
idol. On descending it was getting dark, so we were preceded 
by torch-bearers. We then entered a spacious hall, in the 

* History of Indian and Eastern Architecture. By James Fergus- 
son, D.C.L., etc., 1876 (Murray). 


centre of which were several large lamps, and around them 
a few chairs. Then were brought out a large number of 
boxes with massive locks, and placed in a row before us. 
These contained a portion of the jewels and ornaments of the 
god of the shrine. One box was opened after another. 
Certainly the profusion of gold and jewels, wrought up into 
varied ornaments, was astonishing. There were many large 
vessels of solid gold, from one to several stones weight. The 
golden ornaments were bestud with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, 
pearls, etc. Such a spectacle I never saw. Conjeveram was 
nothing to it. I had always looked on the accounts of such 
things as hyperbolic exaggerations before. And as to silver 
vessels and ornaments, they were countless. But the most 
surprising part of the exhibition was, the great golden idol or 
swamy. It was not a solid figure, but hollow ; and so con- 
structed as to be set up and taken down in parts again, like 
the steel armour which completely clad the knights of the 
middle ages. The whole was of massive gold. There must be 
a huge wooden framework, of the shape and proportions of a 
man, around which these golden pieces are fixed so as to 
appear one solid piece of gold. The immense size of the 
figure may be inferred from this : when the feet and the hands, 
etc., were shown us in parts, I took the hand from the wrist to 
the extremity of the fingers, and having applied my arm to 
it, found it extended from my elbow rather beyond the top 
of my middle finger ; the feet and every other part in pro- 
portion. The figure, therefore, joined and compacted into 
one, must form a huge statue of at least fifteen feet in height, 
all apparently of solid gold. - The joinings will be per- 
fectly concealed by the ornaments by which it is overlaid 
— ornaments for the feet, anklets, and such like ; ornaments 
for the arms, thighs, waist, neck, head, etc. In fact the 
sight of it, when erected, and covered with its ornaments, 
must be probably the most amazing spectacle of the sort now 
in the world. The platform on which it is carried, with its 
long projecting arms resting on the shoulders of those who 
carry it, is also overlaid with massive gold, the central part 
being brass for durability and strength. They also showed us, 
spread out at length, the covering gown of the deity nicely 
fitted to suit him. It was a fabric the tissue of which was 
like golden thread, inlaid most curiously with a countless pro- 

148 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

fusion of pearls. No doubt the whole taken together must 
have been almost fabulously costly. They were the gifts of 
kings, princes, and nobles, when Hindooism was in its prime; 
and must convey an awful idea of the hold which it took of a 
people naturally so avaricious, ere they would be so lavish 
of their substance. Whoever desires to know what a potent 
— yea, all but omnipotent — hold Hindooism must once have 
taken of this people, has only to pay a visit to the great 
temple of Seringham ! It is worth a thousand fruitless argu- 
ments and declamations. 

" We asked what was supposed to be the value of all these 
golden materials with the countless jewels ? They replied, at 
least fifty lakhs of rupees, or half a million sterling ! And 
what might have been the cost of erecting the ivhole temple ? 
At least ten crores of rupees, was the prompt reply, or a million 
sterling. And, very probably, this is no oriental exaggeration. 
Look at the cost of St. Paul's, London, or the Taj Mahal, near 
Agra, each said to have been a million sterling. If so, I 
cannot regard it as incredible that the awful and indescribably 
vast fabric of the Seringham pagoda cost less ! 

" To witness the riches of this earth, which is the Lord's, so 
alienated from Him and devoted to a rival deity that holds 
millions in thraldom, was sad enough. But what shall I say 
as to what followed ? Verily these shrines are the receptacles 
of the god of this world and his army of lusts ! A ring of 
ropes was placed around us, and the lights and boxes of gods 
and their ornaments, to keep off the immense crowd which 
gathered to witness the spectacle ! Then the guardians of the 
temple came to me, and asked if I wished to see a ndch (a 
dance of the prostitutes of the temple). In the most emphatic 
way, and in a tone indicative of real displeasure, I said, ' No, 
no ; I wish nothing of the sort. It would give me real pain, 
and not pleasure. Do not, therefore, for a moment think of it.' 
The guardians or trustees of the temple spoke a little broken 
English, and so I spoke simply that they might understand 
me. Still, whilst the ornaments were being exhibited, I heard 
the tinkling of bells, and the preparatory notes of instruments 
of music. Then, sideways, I saw a procession of the temple 
girls, gaily and gaudily arrayed, march with the bearers 
of all manner of musical instruments. I took no notice of 
it but felt pained and wounded to the quick. I said no- 


tiling to my companion. Bat as they were about to open new 
boxes of ornaments I abruptly rose, and said I had seen enough 
as specimens of the whole, thanked the trustees for their 
courtesy, and begged to bid them ' good-bye ;' on which one 
of them cried out in broken English, ' Oh sir, oh sir, your 
honour not stop to see the fun !' meaning the intended dance. 
' No, no/ said I, moving hastily on ; ' I have seen enough — 
more than enough — may the Lord forgive me if my curiosity 
(or rather desire to know what heathenism really is) has led 
me beyond the threshold of forbidden ground.' So saying, 
and rushing precipitately onward, the rope ring was raised to 
let me pass on with my friend. The crowd hurled themselves 
pell-mell inwardly, and so ' the fun ' for that time was at an end. 

" With joy I again got out, and began to breathe the fresh air 
of heaven, thankful to have escaped the sad contagion. But 
doubtless, the matter of course way in which they expected 
that the crowning gratification, on our part, would be to see 
the dance, must serve as an index to their ideas of our 
countrymen generally, judging from past experience. Oh, 
for the dawn of a brighter day ! Surely the first rays of 
early twilight have emerged from the midnight darkness ! 

" Captain Boswell tells me that when he joined his present 
regiment he found two funds established, to which each 
officer was expected in honour to subscribe : one was for 
the improvement of the native soldiery in personal appearance, 
etc. ; the other was with the view of granting donations of 
about a hundred rupees to the sepoys, to enable them to 
celebrate with more eclat their own heathen festivals, that is, 
in adding to the grandeur of processions, lighting up the 
temples, etc. Captain Boswell demurred to the latter ; but said 
he would, in lieu, give double to the former. His command- 
ing officer was angry, and declared he would report him to the 
Commander-in-Chief, and meanwhile kept him back, depriv- 
ing him of certain command, etc. Such a fund, it appears, 
was formerly in every regiment. The very sepoys at last felt 
it was inconsistent, and respected more those who refused 
than those who gave. 

" The trustees of the temple walked out with us to the outer 
gate ; they asked who I was and whence ? I told them. 
They seemed gratified, and we parted. Formerly the Govern- 
ment managed the temple funds and affairs generally through 

I50 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

its officers, especially the Collector. But now, the whole 
management is vested in trustees, nominated by the Brahmans 
of the temple, subject to veto of Collector. The pagoda lands 
of Seringham yield annually about Rs. 40,000 (£4,000) ; offer- 
ings besides in plenty. 

u At the outer gate of the outer court, which is about four 
miles square, some of the stones are twenty or thirty feet in 
length, and five feet broad. Hence the Hindoos say it was 
the work of the gods ! Certainly it is far beyond their present 
mechanical skill and power. The great columns here (as at 
Conjeveram) which support the roof of the one thousand pillar 
mandapum within, are made out of one stone ; and the style of 
ornament seems the same everywhere, the chief difference 
being in the size. From the pillars, projecting in bold relief, 
are many mythologic figures — of men or demi-gods or gods 
on horseback, contending with elephants, tigers, bears, and 
other ferocious creatures. These are often very large, and cut 
out of the same block as the pillar to which they are attached. 
A work of vast labour, skill, and expense \" 

As at Tranquebar Dr. Duff bad fondly lingered over 
the traces of the earliest Protestant missionary to In- 
dia, Ziegenbalg, lie sought out in Tanjore everywhere 
traces of the still greater, Schwartz. At Combaconum 
he especially noted how Schwartz had devised an educa- 
tional policy not unlike his own, and how his schools, 
supported by the British Government and by the 
Raja, were stopped only by the wars with Tippoo. At 
Tanjore Dr. Duff was, as everywhere, received with 
much kindness by Mr. and Mrs. Guest, of the Propaga- 
tion Society, which in 1829 had taken over Schwartz's 
mission as commenced by the Christian Knowledge 
Society in 1756. 

" The present hall of the house, which otherwise has been 
enlarged by the addition of wings, verandahs, etc., is the 
identical one in which Schwartz died. It was the hall of his 
ordinary dwelling and is still used as such. At 7 a.m. the church 
bell tolled ; I was really delighted with the sound. I went out 
to the church; it was the bell summoning the pupils in the 

ALL 43. SCHWARTZ. 1 5 1 

boarding schools, male and female, to prayer. Besides the 
children a few adult Christians from the neighbourhood at- 
tended. A native catechist read the prayers, and the clerk 
sung several hymns, the boys and girls joining. The desk 
was the one in which Schwartz was wont to officiate ; for this 
was his church for the out-population in the vicinity of Tanjore. 
After the service was ended I mounted Schwartz's pulpit. 
Coining down, near the altar, I observed many monumental 
flag-stones on the floor. Reading the inscriptions, I saw that 
they were the tombstones of some of the missionaries and mem- 
bers of their families. But the one that attracted and absorbed 
my attention was the plain stone beneath which the mortal re- 
mains of Schwartz now lie till the dawn of the resurrection morn. 
With a pencil I took down the simple inscription, which Mr. 
Guest assured me was the unaided composition of Schwartz's 
royal ward and pupil, the Maharaja of Tanjore ! It is precisely 
as follows, with respect to the division of the lines and words : — 

" Sacred to the memory of 
The Revd. Christian Fredk. 
Swartz Missionary to 
The Honbe. Society for 
Promoting Christn. know- 
ledge in London, who 
Departed this life on 
The 13th of February 1798 
Aged 71 years and 4 months. 

Firm was thou, humble and wise, 
Honest, pure, free from disguise ; 
Father of orphans, the widow's support, 
Comfort in sorrow of every sort ; 
To the benighted, dispenser of light, 
Doing, and pointing to, that which is right: 
Blessing to princes, to people, to me, 
May I, my Father, be worthy of thee, 
Wisheth and prayeth thy Sarabojee. 

u These lines are, indeed, as a composition of the order of 
doggerel. But, considering who the author was — a heathen 
prince — do they not contain a wonderful testimony to a 
Christian missionary ? And, notwithstanding the doggerel, 
does there not break throughout them a simple, touching, warm- 
hearted pathos, which moves and stirs up the feelings, and 
which, as in a mirror, portrays or reflects the kindliness, 

152 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

the gratitude and the amiable unaffected simplicity of their 
author ? 

" Besides the mission premises outside the fort, it is well- 
known that Schwartz, through his paramount influence with the 
Raja, was enabled to erect a church within the fort. Nor is 
this all. Beside the large fort which contains the tower, there 
is a small fort or citadel, at the western extremity of the large 
one, somewhat more elevated than the latter, and separated 
from it by a high wall, at the summit of a slight ascent. It 
must have been the citadel. Besides being more strongly 
fortified, as the citadel, it was the sacred ground or enclosure 
on which the most famous pagoda in the province of Tanjore 
was reared. Near it too is the most sacred tank in the pro- 
vince — a tank from which water is conveyed to most of the 
other pagodas in the surrounding country ; a tank of whose 
water alone the Raja, Brahmans and other respectable people 
will driuk; a tank which has different flights of steps descend- 
ing into it, separated from each other by low walls, along which 
the women of different castes may pass in drawing water ; that 
is, a flight of steps for Brahman women, another flight for 
Soodras, etc. Within this small fort, also, none but Brahmans 
are allowed to reside as the guardians of the pagoda and its 
accompaniments. Yet, within this comparatively small and 
most sacred place, Schwartz had influence to secure the erection 
of a tolerably spacious Christian church, and near it a house for 
the minister to reside in whenever he pleased ; and the property 
of the church, house, and grounds has been secured in such a 
way that neither Raja nor Brahmans, under the existing order 
of things, can possibly touch it ! Towards evening I went 
to see this singular monument of the triumph of Protestant 
influence and ascendancy at a heathen court, the most remark- 
able visible monument of the sort, perhaps, in the whole realm 
of Gentilism. Having reached it, and looked into Schwartz's 
dwelling rooms, humble and unostentatious, close by, I en- 
tered with something like an indefinable awe over my spirit. 

"The church is a neat edifice, nothing very imposing, and 
containing nothing very superfluous. At one end (the eastern) 
are the pulpit, desk, altar, etc., with benches for Europeans or 
East Indians to sit on if present. The greater half is simply 
matted, so that the native Tamulian Christians may sit down 
there (tailor-like) in their own way. 


" At the west end is the marble monument, the product of 
a London genius erected at the expense of the Maharaja of 
Tanjore, the 'wisheth and prayeth thy Sarabojee' of the pre- 
vious epitaph. It is simple* touching, affecting. It has been 
pronounced a failure, a disappointment; I know not why. 
Men of the world, men of carnality, men of mere ostentation 
and show in the fine arts, that is, men guided and lorded 
over by the senses, may discern nothing very remarkable, very 
striking, very imposing, very overpowering there. But the 
Christian, the Protestant Christian, cannot help being over- 
powered. The spectacle is, indeed, extraordinary. I confess it 
overpowered me. The monument is fixed in the wall ; in front 
of it there is a railing ; I approached it ; instinctively leant my 
elbow on it, gazed at the monument as if I were in a trance. 
I had no consciousness as to what had become of my compan- 
ions ; I was literally absorbed. I am not given to sentimentalism, 
yet I was absorbed. There was a spell-like power in that simple 
monument. I stood before it. I forgot time and space. I knew 
not where I was, for consciousness was gone. Call it dream, or 
vision, or trance, or absorption, I care not. It was human na- 
ture, human feeling, human sympathy. Before me, in solid, well 
grained marble, in bold but not obtrusive or glaring relief, was 
the couch of the dying saint; on it stretched lay the pale, bald, 
worn-out veteran apostolic man, whose assistance and mediation 
heathens, Hindoo and Muhammadan, as well as Christian 
governing powers, eagerly coveted, in the last gasp of expiring 
nature. Behind him, at his head, stood the affectionate, tender, 
sympathising, loving fellow-labourer, Guericke, who ever looked 
up to him as a father, and who, in the last communication from 
his pen, thus wrote of Schwartz : 

" f Mr. Schwartz said nothing relative to his speedy decease 
until Wednesday ; but appeared to entertain a wish and 
expectation to recover. When I spoke to him on the sub- 
ject, and expressed a hope that God might yet restore him 
to health, he said, ' But I should not be able to preach, on 
account of my breath/ I replied, 'If you only sit here as 
you do at present, and aid us with your counsel, all things 
would go on quite differently from what they would if 
you were to leave us, etc/ But on Wednesday, he said, as 
soon as I entered, ' I think the Lord will at last take me to 
Himself.' I spoke to him a great deal on the subject, but ho 

154 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

remained silent, settled some pecuniary matter with me, and 
gave me some money for Palatncottah. All this troubled me 
much. I prayed and wept ; could get no sleep for several nights, 
and lost my appetite and strength, for various thoughts how 
tilings would go on after his departure made me very restless. 
I wrote an account of his state to Mr. Macleod, and expressed 
a wish that he would consult physicians as to the best method 
of treatment. Mr. Macleod wrote immediately to General 
Floyd at Trichinopoly, to send a skilful physician to us on 
Friday, when the latter had a consultation with the Vail am and 
Tanjore physicians. They prescribed a medicine which had the 
effect of stopping the vomiting. Our joy was great, and on 
Saturday night I got a little sleep. At three in the morning I 
was waked up and informed that Mr. Schwartz wished to take 
the Holy Supper. I found him very weak, and spoke to him 
with much emotion. His great humility, his love to Christ, 
and his desire after grace, excited my astonishment. Prior to 
his communicating he prayed fervently, and for some length of 
time, in German, and acknowledged and bewailed himself as a 
sinner, who had nothing to bring before the justice of God 
but the sufficient merits of Christ. The humility, self-renun- 
ciation, poverty of spirit, the trust and thirst after grace and 
righteousness, which his prayer evinced, were witnessed by us 
all. He concluded with a petition for the whole human race, 
saying, * They are all Thy redeemed, Thou hast shed Thy blood 
for them ; have pity upon them/ Last of all, he prayed for 
the Christians especially, mentioned the Mission with sighs, 
and commended it to the compassion of Jesus. He received 
the Holy Supper (Mr. Kahlhoff and I taking it with him) 
with great emotion and joy, and was afterwards full of praiso 
and thanksgiving. Finding himself weak he then lay down 
again, but soon raised himself, and occasionally spoke some- 
what confusedly. During the night he evinced some occasional 
wandering of mind ; but soon recollected himself when spoken 
to, and even mentioned that his head was affected. Contrary 
to our expectation he slept from two o'clock till ten, when the 
physician awoke him. We found him very feeble, but still 
sensible. He said to the physician, ' My whole meditation is 
the death of Jesus, and that I may be like Him/ and then 
added, ' the whole world is a mash ; I wish to be where all is 
real. 3 He likewise spoke to me to the same effect. At twelve 


lie laid himself down again, and so he continues. He can speak 
but little, but what he does say is intelligent, and refers to that 
which is his element, and on which his mind is singly and solely 
employed. The physicians say there is no danger as yet, but 
it now appears to me that our dear father will soon leave us. 
Oh, if God would graciously strengthen him and spare him to 
us yet a little while ! If he depart to his rest, what shall we 
both do ? ' 

"Who could have been represented as standing at the 
head of the dying father with better effect and more appro- 
priately, than this affectionate, loving son? And there he is, 
a striking likeness, it is said, in bold relief at the head of the 
couch, looking wistfully at the pale collapsed features of the 
mighty saint, whose spirit was then departing to join the 
general assembly of the firstborn. And there is the Maha- 
raja Serfojee, in his full dress, standing by the couch, and 
holding the left hand of the dying father in his, the heathen 
prince emphatically acknowledging his grateful obligations, as 
a son, to the Protestant Christian Missionary; while his ministers 
of state stand respectfully and sorrowfully and sympathisingly 
behind him, gazing, too, at that bland countenance, which re- 
tains the stamped impress of benevolence even in death. Al- 
together it is a simple, natural, and affecting scene, and the 
group who compose it possess an interest to the Christian 
mind beyond what mere words can express. 

" There is a mistake, an obvious one, in the artist's design. 
The Raja holds the father's left hand in his own left hand. 
This is not an oriental custom. No real oriental would do so. 
But it is a poor, petty and gossamer-like criticism that would, 
on account of this natural mistake in a British artist, condemn 
the whole, and allow it no merit, and evade and stifle all the 
sanctified impressions which it is fitted to impart. 

" It was once rumoured that Serfojee wanted to have 
Schwartz's church removed from the fort and transplanted to a 
distance in the country beyond, out of view. He was asked if 
this was true. He replied, with indignation, 'No! So far 
from this, if the English were without a church in the fort I 
would let them have the use of my own palace ! ' And true to 
the spirit of the remark, when it was reported that there were 
rents in the walls of the church, and that it threatened to fall, 
he, at his own expense and of his own proper motion, con- 

I56 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

structed massive buttresses to support the walls all around, 
and they remain to this day, to testify of his sincerity and zeal 
for what concerned the honour of his father, Schwartz. 

3\st May, 18 19. — " Last evening, the celebrated Tanjore poet, 
with two or three of his sons, grandsons, and one unmarried 
daughter, came to Mr. Guest's house to visit me, as well as re- 
gale me with a concert of sacred music, the hymns sung being 
those of the poet himself. As a young man he was brought 
up by Schwartz from Palamcottah to Tanjore. About twenty 
he began decidedly to feel the inspiration of the muse. He 
was twenty-two when Schwartz died, so that he distinctly re- 
members him, with many of his instructions and ways of pro- 
ceeding; though I could learn nothing very material from him 
beyond what is already known, except the following anecdote 
which I give as I received it. 

"* Schwartz lived very simply and sparingly, taking little 
else to his dinner than curry and rice. One day he was invited 
to dine, or lunch rather, with the chief British authorities. He 
did not relish this much, but complied. His young assist- 
ants and others, who were wont to partake of his sober meals, 
thought this a good occasion for having a little feast. So 
some roast meat, a little wine, etc., were ordered for dinner, 
which was early, about two o'clock. Schwartz, returning 
earlier than was expected, and the dinner in his house being a 
little later than usual (owing to the greater preparations), 
was back as the table was covering, to the surprise and dismay 
of his assistants. ' Ay, ay/ said he, ' you're all determined 
on a feast to-day; then let as many as possible partake of it/ 
So, sending for the senior pupils in the boarding school, he 
got them all seated somehow at the table. At the head of it 
he sat himself, helped his assistants to their wonted curry and 
rice, while the roast meat and wine were distributed in small 
portions among the pupils.' 

" Before parting with the poet, I solemnly asked him whether 
in his old age he vividly realized the consolations of the gospel, 
and felt true joy in believing; and whether he leaned his whole 
soul and expectation on the sole work and sacrifice of the Lord 
Jesus ? He promptly answered that he renounced all reliance 
on self — on works of merit of any sort, that he trusted simply, 
absolutely to the Redeemer's righteousness, and in so doing he 
experienced inward comfort and joy. 


1st June. — " A note from Dr. Tweedie gave rather a discourag- 
ing view of the finances of the Church's missions. Oh eternal 
Father, spare me, if it be Thy holy pleasure, and fit me to do 
Thy work and will, in the attempt to arouse the Church to her 
high duty and destiny, in connection with the evangelization 
of the world ! 

4th June. — "Yesterday and to-day there has been an oppres- 
sive stillness in the air, up till four or five in the afternoon. Then 
a slight gust arose. Not a leaf moved on any tree. It seemed 
as if all nature drooped and were ready to die — unable even to 
gasp — for want of breath. The heat intense and awfully un- 
bearable ; yet I continue well in the midst of it. What shall 
I render unto the Lord ? I think I can truly say that I feel 
the Lord's dealings far beyond what I can express. Bless the 
Lord, oh my soul ! He is a wonderful Lord — eternity alone 
can show forth His praise ; and yet eternity will never end, 
nor His praise be exhausted ! 

hth Jane. — "When the lamented Heber visited Trichinopoly, 
early in April, 1826, he mourned over the decay of the native 
church of that city. Its members were the objects of his latest 
care, and amongst them he left his latest blessing. ' This/ says 
his chaplain, Mr. Robinson (afterwards Archdeacon of Madras), in 
his funeral sermon, preached in St. John's Church, Trichinopoly, 
April 9th, 1826, 'This was the first mission established by 
the venerable Schwartz, and his successors have for many years 
watched over its interests. But their hands are feeble, and 
the Church which is already gathered from among the heathen 
requires the aid of a nursing father to rear and protect its in- 
fancy. We fondly hoped we had found that protecting hand 
in our late excellent bishop. He loved, and if God had spared 
his life he would have cherished them as his own children. A 
few minutes only before he expired he spoke to me of their 
distress and helpless state, and of his plans for their revival 
and perpetual establishment. 'Brethren, I commend them 
now to you/ The bishop died on the 3rd April. 

Maduka, 6th June. — " This was the scene of the celebrated 
experiment of Robertus De Nobilibus and his associates and 
successors. It is astonishing how little remains of the fruit 
of their labours. The tomb of Robert existed till within 
a recent period. It became to the Papists a sort of idola- 
trous shrine, where offerings and prayers were presented. 

158 LIFE OF DE. DUFF. 1849. 

Collector Blackburne was a very energetic man and great im- 
prover. Chiefly through him were the walls of the fort and 
city of ancient Madura entirely levelled and removed, the fosse 
filled up, and the streets widened and enlarged ; so that now 
Madura is really one of the finest, cleanest, healthiest speci- 
mens of an Indian city. Well, the tomb of Robert lay on the 
line of some of these improvements. The Collector decreed 
it should be removed. Appeal was made to Government, 
which simply resolved to let the Collector act on his own res- 
ponsibility; and he assumed it. The brother of Lord Clifford 
(subsequently drowned in the Cauvery) was here as a Jesuit 
father. He got his brother to move in the House of Lords 
for inquiry and arrest of the Collector's designs. But it was 
quashed. The tomb was removed and over it a street opened. 

7th June. — " Spent a day with the American missionaries. 
They asked all manner of questions, which I endeavoured to 
answer. In return, I asked many to-day. Having asked, if they 
once tolerated caste, what made them change their mind on the 
subject ? they replied by stating some of its discovered evils. 
Mr. Cheny also added, 'that there was an expression in a work on 
" India Missions," by Dr. Duff, of Calcutta, which, more than 
anything else, had opened the eyes and influenced the con- 
duct of most of them, and that was, that, in the stupendous 
system of Hindooism, the legends of the gods, etc., were but 
the bricks, while caste was the cement of the whole edifice. 
I feel humbled and rejoiced that, unknown to myself, this work 
should have been the impulsive cause of so great a revolution 
in their method of proceeding, as that of unsparingly lopping 
off caste ! To God alone be the praise and the glory ! " 

From Madura Dr. DufF went on to Ramnad, and 
thence, after long delay, made a second vain attempt 
to cross to Jaffna, then the seat of the most famous 
missions in Ceylon. While delayed on the coast he 
made a careful study of the engineering efforts, as yet 
fruitless, so to deepen the Paumben Channel as to 
allow ships to reach Madras and Calcutta without 
doubling Ceylon. There, too, he read up the legends 
of the Ramayan epic, which describe the march of 


Ram and his monkey hosts to rescue his wife Sitafrom 
Havana, and here make the Ramisseram temple and 
Adam's Bridge the objects of popular pilgrimage. 
Again turned back, Dr. Duff carefully surveyed the 
now most prosperous Churches of Tinnevelli and 
Travancore. We come upon these references, in the 
Journal, to the able missionaries who are now Bishops 
Sargent and Caldwell : 

Suvisessipooram, June 26th.— "This day spent at this place, 
as elsewhere, examining school children, addressing catechists, 
etc. The station is a very neat one, where before was no 
village at all. The name of it means ' the city of the gospel/ 
The new church is large and nearly finished. It is used now 
for worship, and having in the evening visited perhaps the 
most famous devil temple in the south of Tinnevelli district, two 
miles from our station, in a solitary awe-inspiring grove, I in 
the evening addressed the assembled congregation, chiefly on 
the subject of devils, dwelling on the Bible doctrine of the fall 
of Satan and his angels, and their absolute subjection to God, 
and the sin and folly of worshipping them. 

i( The number of temples in the grove, the strange variety 
of the figures and forms of the devils and the animals sacred 
to them, and the pottery horses on which, at night, they are 
supposed to ride, are all fitted to impress the imagination; 
and with torches blazing, music the most loud and discord- 
ant sounding, and the cries and yells of the devil dancers 
iutermingled, all fitted to inspire terror. In a paper given 
me by Mr. Sargent is a full account of the devil worship. 
The song of the officer Pole, whose spirit is said to haunt 
the neighbouring grove, in which he is believed to have 
been buried, is the most remarkable specimen I have ever met 
with, of the assimilating and appropriating character of the 
popular superstition ; and of the ( pious fraud ' of the Jesuit 
author, who composed it in order, through the vulgar supersti- 
tion, to introduce the dogmas of his own Church. 

" Mr. Sargent is a superior Tamul scholar. He has charge 
of six or seven elderly persons from twenty- five to forty years 
old, who were long catechists and are candidates for holy orders. 
Their perseverance is remarkable. At this advanced age, within 

l6o LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1849. 

tlie last two or three years they have so far mastered English 
as to read a simple book liko the Bible. But their chief 
instruction has been in Tamul. They have got hold of the 
leading points in Paley's Evidences, on which I examined 
them. I never saw any of their uneducated stamp before able 
so to acquit themselves. The annual collection for all pur- 
poses by Mr. Sargent's people, Es. 450. They gave Us. 1,500 
for new church. 

Eydenkoody, 21th June. — "This is the most southern of the 
mission stations. Its name imports the ' shepherd's dwelling.' 
Mr. Caldwell is a Scotsman brought up in Glasgow or Aber- 
deen. He first came out in connection with the London 
Missionary Society, which ho left several years ago, and 
allied himself to the Propagation Society. He is a thought- 
ful, reflective, contemplative man, perhaps the most so of 
all the missionaries. He has got the mission premises and 
village into admirable order. Indeed I have been more 
struck with his arrangements and success in this outward, 
physical aspect of things, than with anything previously seen. 
His new church is only begun, the foundations laid, and 
materials collected. Most of these southern churches are built 
of stone, chiefly a sandstone grit. Mr. Caldwell said he was 
most anxious first about the living stones of the spiritual 
Church, and he was afraid of the ' church building fever !' He 
is said to have been once very high church. But, having 
married a daughter of old Mr. Mault, of Nagercoil, he has 
since softened down. Several miles to the south of this station 
the palmyra cultivation ceases, the country opens up and is 
more pastoral, and so towards Cape Comorin." 

Nagekcoil, June 2tith. — "The ' temple of the serpent' is buried 
iu wood of all sorts. Mr. Mault and Mr. Russel from the 
eastern station (a Scotsman; received me with the utmost cor- 
diality. The church, though not imposing from architectural 
style, is a very large one, capable of holding 2,000 people. The 
mission premises are very handsome and extensive. The girls' 
school is a very superior one ; I examined it with pleasure. Mr. 
Mault has been there since 1817, and never once home ! He 
has been a diligent, laborious and successful labourer. Mrs. 
Mault introduced the working of lace. Many who have left 
the school still support themselves by making it. The ma- 
terials come from England ; and the work and patterns are 


varied and beautiful. Saw them at work, to my great amaze- 

" The mission premises were betowed as a gift by the Raja 
of Travancore, at the instigation of Colonel, now General 
Munro. The seminary is supported mainly from the proceeds 
of an endowment in land, granted in the same way. Having 
introduced the name of Munro, it is impossible not to advert 
to his successful administration of the country. When it 
had been reduced to the last extremity ot anarchy and con- 
fusion the British Government assumed the administration. 
Colonel Munro was at once president and dewan, or prime 
minister; that is, really, autocrat or dictator. He accom- 
plished wonders. He reduced what was most creditable in 
the most ancient Hindoo laws into a code, from the Sanskrit 
getting them interpreted into Malayalam. He divided the 
country into five zillahs, giving each a regular court of justice, 
with a court of appeal from them at Trevandrum, presided over 
by the dewan, as his representative ; and also subordinate police 
agents throughout the country, under regular supervision and 
control. He settled also the revenue laws, and introduced 
some degree of fixity and order and equity. He encouraged 
improvements of every kind, especially intellectual, moral and 
religious. As there are so many Syrians and Papists, in the 
country, he secured the appointment of a Christian judge in 
every zillah court, where the first is usually a Brahman, and 
the second always a Christian, with a Brahman shastree or law 
expounder. He also secured the deciding of questions in which 
Christians were involved, by Christian law, not Hindoo. The 
spirit of this was meant to apply to converts from Hindooism. 
But though the constitution and the laws remain the same, 
everything depends on the administration, and now the prac- 
tice is often in direct opposition to the law. Colonel Munro's 
policy was to give power and influence to the Christians, as 
an antagonistic power to the Brahmans ; this led him to seek 
the revival of the Syrian Church, according to the scheme 
proposed by Dr. C. Buchanan. For this end he got from 
the Raja grants of land for endowments, and sums of money 
for building colleges, etc. The lands were worth more than a 
lakh of rupees. 

" He was very decisive in his measures. He had to do with 
desperadoes, and he put them down with a high hand. The 


1 62 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1849. 

place is still pointed out, between A-leppi and Quilon, where, 
when passing by the canal by night, his boat was shot at by 
robbers wlio knew not who was there. He was out instantly 
with his sepoy guard in pursuit; the robbers were seized and 
hung up in trees, on the very spot, to the wholesome terror 
of all robbers. His name is still everywhere spoken of ; and 
associated with the pacification, the legislation, jurisprudence, 
police, education, of Travancore. An old Syrian katanar or 
priest, hearing I was from Scotland, earnestly asked me about 
Munro Saheb, whether he was alive and well, adding, f Tra- 
vancore, and especially the Syrians, never had such a friend !' 

" In order to give a fair start to the new courts, he got Mr. 
Mead, missionary of the London Society, now of Neyoor, to 
become the Christian judge of the south-east coast, near Nager- 
coil ; and Mr. Norton, of the Church Missionary Society, at 
Aleppi. The design was admirable; but it is questionable 
whether even the excellence of the object could justify an 
ordained missionary in becoming a civil judge. The plan did 
not succeed. The home society naturally disapproved of the 
measure; and Mr. Norton in particular was often heard to 
complain that, in spite of all vigilance and checks, bribes were 
constantly taken by subordinates, so that his name became 
associated with bribery and corruption, no very likely recom- 
mendation to his functions as a missionary. In the zillah 
where Mr. Mead was judge three or four thousand of the 
natives came forward to embrace Christianity. They were re- 
ceived on profession, as catechumens to be instructed. But, 
after Mr, Mead relinquished his judicial office, almost all of 
these quickly and unblushingly apostatized from their profes- 
sion of Christianity, and re-embraced heathenism ! This is a 
pregnant fact !" 

After a curious account of the Brahmanical princi- 
pality of Travancore, the old Syrian Church and the 
Jews of Cochin, Dr. Duff describes his third but long 
protracted effort to reach Ceylon, which he at last 
accomplished by native schooner from Tuticorin to 
Colombo. There the Rev. Dr. Macvicar, the chaplain, 
found him in the vestry in an exhausted state. He 
was able to study the missions and the administration 

iEt 43. CEYLON. 163 

only in the southwest corner of the island. At a time 
before that crown colony had begun to prosper he 
wrote, " One collector and one judge at Palamcottah 
appear to govern Tinnevelli, which has nearly as 
many people in it as Ceylon, much more quietly, 
peaceably and effectively." What delighted him most 
was the circulation in manuscript of an anonymous 
appeal to all the faithful in Christ Jesus throughout 
the world, to devote the first Sabbath of 1850 to united 
prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the 
diffusion of the gospel. He ascertained that the 
author was Mr. Murdoch, head-master of the Kandy 
Normal School. He published the appeal on his re- 
turn to Calcutta with the remark, " No earnest mis- 
sionary can peruse it without responding to the noble 
and magnanimous spirit of Moses, when told of Eldad 
and Medad prophesying in the camp : — € Enviest thou 
for my sake ? Would God that all the Lord's people 
were prophets, and that the Lord would put His 
Spirit upon them.' " 

Hardly had Dr. Duff returned to Calcutta in August, 
the worst part of the Bengal rainy season, when he 
made his preparations for the completion of his mis- 
sionary survey of India. Early in October, when the 
first breath of the delightful cold weather of Northern 
India began to be felt, he took steamer up the Granges, 
relieving the tedium of a voyage against its mighty 
current by clearing off the arrears of his correspon- 
dence. Many an epistle of touching affection and 
fatherly counsel did he send to the native converts and 
Hindoo students, and especially to the young Bengalee 
missionaries. At Benares he could contrast the Brah- 
manism of the Granges with that of the Coleroon and 
the Cavery countries. At Agra and Futtehpore Sikri 
he saw the glories of Akbar and Shah Jahan. The 
latter place he thus described in a lady's album on his 
return to Scotland : 

164 LIFE OP Dll. DUFF. 1849. 

" About twenty-four miles to the west of Agra is a narrow 
ridge of sandstone hills, about three miles in length, called 
Futtelipore Sikri. There dwelt an aged Muhammadan saint, 
who was consulted by the celebrated Mogkul Emperor Akbar, 
about an heir to his throne. Having reason to be satis- 
fied with the result of the consultation, the Emperor, in 
order to secure the continual counsel and intercession of so 
holy a man, took up his abode at Sikri, covering the hill with 
superb buildings of red sandstone for himself, his family, his 
courtiers and public offices. The whole hill is now one enormous 
mass of ruins and rubbish, with the exception of the mosque 
and tomb of the old hermit. The mosque is one of the largest 
and most imposing in the world. Its chief gateway, one 
hundred and twenty feet in height and the same in breadth, 
facing the south, on the brow of the hill, is truly magnificent. 
Inside this gateway, on the right of the entrance, is engraved 
on stone in large characters, which stand out boldly in bas- 
relief, a remarkable sentence in Arabic. Literally translated it 
is as follows, ' Jesus, on whom be peace, has said, The world 
is merely a bridge; you are to pass over it and not to build 
your dwellings upon it/ There is no such sentence authentic- 
ally recorded of Jesus ; but it does embody the spirit of some 
of His teachings. As an Arabic tradition it is singular and 
striking. True in itself, the spectacle of ruins by which it was 
surrounded seemed to be the most emphatic commentary on 
its truth. It was with peculiar emotions that I gazed at 
this curious inscription, and then at the ruined edifices which 
once were imperial palaces and courtly establishments re- 
plenished with all the grandeur and glory of the greatest and 
wisest of Asiatic sovereigns. Poor Akbar ! with all his magni- 
ficence he built his dwellings on the bridge ; and now they are 
all gone ! Let us take a lesson from the inscription and com- 
mentary of Futtelipore Sikri ! Let us lay up our treasures 
in heaven ; and through faith in the Divine Redeemer look 
forward to the mansions of everlasting light and glory 
there ! " 

Zigzagging up the Ganges and Jumna valleys, and 
visiting all the mission stations as well as historical 
and architectural sites, Dr. Duff" reached the then little 
frequented sanitarium of Simla, in the secondary range 


of the Himalaya. But he would not rest until he had 
penetrated five marches farther, to Kotghur, near the 
Upper Sutlej. That was then the most extreme station 
of the Church Missionary Society, although the Mo- 
ravian brethren have since distanced it, by planting 
themselves in snow-encompassed Lahoul, near forbid- 
den Thibet. The Simla commissioner ordered such 
arrangements of horses and bearers, that Dr. Duff 
made the journey to and from Kotghur in half the 
usual time. Not even Mr. Prochnow's mission seems to 
have interested him so much as the following incident, 
which he often afterwards applied. When on a narrow 
bridle path cut out on the face of a precipitous ridge, he 
observed a native shepherd with his flock following 
him as usual. The man frequently stopped and looked 
back. If he saw a sheep creeping up too far on the one 
hand, or coming too near the edge of the dangerous 
precipice on the other, he would go back and apply 
his crook to one of the hind legs and gently pull it 
back, till it joined the rest. Though a Grampian 
Highlander, Dr. Duff saw for the first time the real 
use of the crook or shepherd's staff in directing sheep 
in the right way. Going up to the shepherd, he 
noticed that he had a long rod which was as tall as 
himself, and around the lower half a thick band of 
iron was twisted. The region was infested with 
wolves, hyenas, and other dangerous animals, which 
in the night-time were apt to prowl about the place 
where the sheep lay. Then the man would go with this 
long rod, and would strike the animal such a blow as 
to make it at least turn away. This brought to the 
traveller's remembrance the expression of David, the 
shepherd, in the twenty-third Psalm, " Thy rod and 
Thy-stafF they comfort me " — the staff clearly meaning 
God's watchful, guiding and directing providence, and 
the rod His omnipotence in defending His own from 

1 66 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1850. 

foes, whether without or within. The incident showed 
that the expression is no tautology, as many of the 
commentators make it out to be. 

Before the close of 1849 Dr. Duff reached Lahore, 
by Jelhmdhur and Umritsur. Lord Dalhousie had be- 
come Governor-General before he was forty, and was 
then entering the Punjab. Sir Henry Lawrence had 
returned from his shortened furlough and was at the 
head of the new administration, with his brother John 
and Sir Robert Montgomery (after Mr. Mansell) as his 
colleagues. The second Sikh war had been fought, 
and the most triumphant success of British adminis- 
tration in the East was just beginning. Dr. Duff 
became Sir Henry's guest in Government House, of 
course, and many were the conversations they had on 
affairs public and private, missionary and philanthro- 
pic. On the last day of the year Dr. Duff thus wrote : 

" Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching the 
everlasting gospel to an assembly of upwards of two 
hundred ladies and gentlemen, civil and military, in 
the great hall of the Government House, now worthily 
occupied by Sir Henry Lawrence, whose guest I 
have been since my arrival. And, as indicative 
of the radio allies s of the change that is come 
over the firmament of former power and glory in 
this city, I may state that I had the option of 
holding public worship either in the Government 
House, formerly the residence (though now greatly 
enlarged) of the redoubted Runjeet Singh's French 
generals, or in the great audience or Durbar Hall 
of the Muhammadan Emperors and Sikh Maharajas. 
What a change ! The tidings of the great salvation 
sounding in these halls — once the abodes of the lords- 
paramount of the most antichristian systems and 
monarchies ! Surely, the Creator hath gone up before 
us, though in the rough and giant form of blood- 


stained war. God in mercy grant that in these re- 
gions, so repeatedly drenched with human blood, men 
may soon learn to ' beat their swords into plough- 
shares and their spears into pruning-hooks ; ' and 
thus cultivate the arts of peace, and make progress in 
the lessons and practice of heavenly piety ! 

" Many of our friends in these quarters have been 
very anxious that we should extend a branch of our 
mission to Lahore. And, if we did so, I doubt not 
that very considerable local support would be obtained. 
But it appears that the missionaries of the American 
Presbyterian Church, who have for years occupied 
many important stations in Northern India, had long 
contemplated the establishment of a mission at Lahore. 
For the promotion of this object two of their number 
reached this place some time ago ; and already have 
some practical steps been taken in connection with 
their long-projected design. Such being the fact, let 
us rejoice that brethren, like-minded with ourselves 
not only in articles of faith but of discipline and 
government, have so seasonably and so vigorously 
entered on a field so vast and so promising. With 
thirty-five millions of unconverted heathen in the single 
province of Bengal, we can have little real temptation 
to rush into regions so remote, and so much less 
densely peopled. But let us, if possible, speedily 
spread out from our various centres until we pervade 
the whole land." 

There was another famous man in Lahore, then a 
young Scottish captain who had done such deeds in 
Afghanistan that Lord Dalhousie was consulting him 
about the new frontier finally fixed at Peshawur, and 
was sending him to be Brigadier in the Nizam's country. 
Colin Mackenzie had raised the 4th Sikhs, and he was 
then bidding his sepoy children farewell. He and Duff 
were brother Highlanders, w r ere brethren in Christ. 

1 68 LIFK OP DR. DUFF. 1850. 

In her vivid journal Mrs. Colin Mackenzie has de- 
scribed the farewell parade, how Dr. Duff followed the 
gallant but sorely affected commandant, as he passed 
along every rank of the men drawn up in open column 
of companies, and witnessed a devotion on both sides 
such as has given India to Great Britain, and given it 
for Christ. Then to holy communion in the American 
chapel, just before he took boat down the Sutlej and 
Indus, clothed in the large " postheen " or sheepskin 
presented to him by General Mackenzie. 

Dr. Duff was amazed at the progress made, even at 
that early time, in the pacification and civilization of 
the Punjab, which forms the triumph of Dalhousie* and 
John and Henry Lawrence. In a letter full of detail 

* The fact that the Marquis of Dalhousie's Diary and papers are 
shut up from publication till 1910, adds interest to this specimen of 
his letters to the officers who served him : " (Private), Government 
House, \Wi Sept., 1852. My dear Mackenzie,— I have to thank 
you for two letters, one enclosing a memo, regarding Sir W. 
Macnaghten, the other on the Contingent. I am sorry you should 
have had any doubt regarding the propriety of addressing me on 
that subject. I have been long painfully conscious of the difficulties 
with which vou have had to contend in common with the whole 
body. The peculiarity of our position at the Court of the Nizam, 
and the existence of this war, have lately combined to retard a 
remedy, but I hope to apply it before long. This expression of 
mine will, 1 am confident, not pass beyond yourself. As for taking 
the country, I fervently hope it will not be taken in my time, at 
least. It does not depend on me, as you seem to assume. Treaties 
can't be torn up like old newspapers, you. know. The testimony to 
your wife's work must be doubly gratifying to you from its obvious 
impartiality, since Lord Ashley does not seem even to have known 
that it was her work. I hope she is better. Your Singhs are 
behaving beautifully — coming down wading rivers up to their necks, 
and carrying plump Captain Bean in his palkee through on their 
heads besides, all readiness and good humour— and I hear with 
100 supernumeraries. They shall certainly go to the front. Yours 
always sincerely, Dalhousie." 

"P.S. — I have omitted the acknowledgment of your handsome 
offer to serve with the corps brigaded. The arrangement you sup- 
posed has not been made however, and the 4th form part of an 
ordinary Brigade. D." 


and description, written for the instruction of His 
younger son, he remarks that he now felt no hesita- 
tion in sailing down the Indus in a country boat, alone 
and unarmed — " save by prayer " — where, a short time 
before, lawless robber tribes infested the banks and 
life was in peril. When at the point nearest to Mool- 
tan, yet sixty-two miles from the famous fort, he was 
hailed at noon by the driver of a riding camel, sent by 
friends to enable him to visit the city. In twelve 
hours he reached them, but at what a sacrifice those 
know best who have ridden a camel even for one. 
As he returned across country by Bhawulpore, he 
would have been gladdened could he have foreseen 
that one of his own converts would be appointed 
Director of Public Instruction in that long mis- 
governed Muhammad an principality, on the succession 
of a minor. Schools and railways, missionaries and 
British officers, civil and military, have since done for 
the Punjab and Sindh, more than any other province, 
under imperial Rome or Christian England has ever 
witnessed in the same brief period. And yet only a 
beginning has been made. 

It was thus that the Bengal met the Bombay mis- 
sionary, Dr. Wilson * having come as far as Sehwan 
on the first missionary tour through Sindh. 

" Indus River, February 4<th, 1850. 

" Need I say with what intense feeling of delight 
we hailed each other, face to face, on the banks of that 
celebrated stream, and in a spot so isolated and remote 
from the realms of modern civilization — a spot never 
before trodden by the feet of two heralds of the Cross, 
but conspicuously displaying, among the edifices that 

* The Life of John Wilson, D.D., F.B.S. (Murray), page 248, 
second edition. 

I70 LIFE of d R# DUFF. 1850. 

crown the rocky heights of Sehwan, the symbols of 
the Crescent ; and as visibly exhibiting, in the scat- 
tered ruins and desolation all around, the impress of 
rapacious and shortsighted tyranny ? Joyous was our 
meeting, and sweet and refreshing has been our inter- 
course since. How have our souls been led to praise 
and magnify the name of our God, for His marvellous 
and ineffable mercies ! It is now ten years since we 
last parted in the neighbourhood of Bombay; and 
what centuries of events have been crowded into these 
ten years — alike in Europe and Asia, alike in Church 
and in State ! And nowhere, assuredly, have the ex- 
ternal changes been greater than in the regions which 
we are now traversing. A few minutes ago we passed 
Meanee, a name which instantly recalled the strange 
series of events that terminated in the final overthrow 
of the Mussulman dynasties of Sindh, and added this 
once flourishing, but now greatly desolated realm to 
the vast Indian dominion of a Christian state. What 
a revolution already, with reference to the social and 
political relations of the people, and security of person 
and property ! Lawless violence and anarchy, abusive 
rudeness and barbarism, have already been exchanged 
for peacefulness and established order, outward civility 
and respect." 

At Bombay Dr. Duff roused the native city by an 
address on the necessity of the Christian element in 
education, even when conducted by the Government, 
which produced a long newspaper war but with the 
best results. The end of April is the time when there 
is a rush of home-going Anglo-Indians eager to escape 
the worst of the hot season. Dr. Duff could secure 
only " a den in the second lower deck," and had a fall 
on board. But the end of May saw him once more in 
Edinburgh, eager to begin his new crusade. 



Foreign Mission Finance. — Retrenchment or Advance ? — " Living 
Machinery." — Dr. Duff tells how he prepared his Speeches. — 
General Assembly of 1850. — His Five Orations. — His Appeal for 
Men for India. — Rajahgopal. — -Mr. Justice Hawkins. — Three and 
a Half Years of Organizing Toil. — His Success. — The Education 
Question in India. — With Dr. M'Neile. — Sermon to Twenty Thou- 
sand Welsh. — The Poor Helping him. — Tender Reminiscences. — 
Spiritual Breathings. — Great Meetings. — Highland Emigrants 
from Skye. — Suffering and Triumphing. — Stranraer and the New 
Hebrides Mission. — Loudoun and the Marchioness of Hastings. — 
Persecuted by Self-seekers. — New Missionaries. — Summons to 
the Young Men of London. 

Dr. Duff found that he had returned to Scotland not 
a day too soon. There was urgently wanted for the 
Foreign Missions of the Free Church a financier in the 
best sense, one who could create a revenue self-sustain- 
ing and self-developing, as well as control expenditure 
so as to make it produce the best possible results. The 
financial management of religious and philanthropic 
organizations has been too often marked by the ignor- 
ance of mere enthusiasm on the one side, or the selfish- 
ness of dead corporations on the other. The men who 
have made the missionary enterprise of the English- 
speaking races one of the most remarkable features of 
the century's progress since the French Revolution, 
have not always allowed economic law to guide them 
in their pursuit of that which is the loftiest of all ideals 
just because the Spirit of Christ has made it the surest 

172 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1850. 

of realities. It is a lesson to all philanthropic agencies, 
that he who was the most spiritual of men and most 
fervid of missionaries, with a Celtic intensity of fervour, 
was at the same time most practical as an economist 
and far-sighted as an administrator. He had shown 
this in the establishment of his first school and college 
in Calcutta ; he had proved it in his first home cam- 
paign of 1835-39, to which Dr. Chalmers had pub- 
licly acknowledged his indebtedness. Of both, all the 
material fruit, in subscriptions, legacies, buildings and 
capital endowments had been at once surrendered to 
the Established Church, when the civil authority 
decided in 1842 — as it vainly reversed the decision in 
1874 — that the ' residuaries ' legally formed the Church 
of Scotland. In Calcutta and Bengal he, his colleagues 
and his converts every one, re-created the college 
and made the new yet old Mission more prosperous 
than ever, with the sympathy and assistance of all the 
Evangelical churches. It was now necessary that he 
should repeat, in Scotland, the organizing toil of his 
previous campaign, if the Foreign Missions of the Free 
Church were to be worthy of its history and of the 
professions of its duty to the one Head of the Church 

Not that the Free Church had been illiberal, even to 
the missions abroad, in the first seven years of its opera- 
tions. On the contrary, while contributing to Church 
History a new fact since the Acts of the Apostles, in 
what then appeared to all Christendom the marvellous 
contributions of a million of comparatively poor people, 
it had added to the original twenty Indian and Jewish 
missionaries with which it started, new fields in South 
Africa, in Central India, in rural Bengal and in Bom- 
bay. But while Chalmers, Guthrie and Dr. R. Macdonald 
created sustentation, manse and school funds, there 
was no one to put the foreign mission subscriptions 

JEt 44. RAJAHGOPAL. 1 73 

on an organized and self-acting system. When 
Dr. Duff was summoned home, after the death of Chal- 
mers, the first annual deficit was met by " a week of 
collecting " in July, 18-17, which yielded £5,500. Next 
year the ladies of the Church filled the gap between a 
growing expenditure and a stationary revenue. In 
1840 the normal expenditure of ten thousand pounds, 
exclusive of much more met by friends in India, was 
raised, but on no certain plan which brought the 
people into the close harmony of knowledge, prayer 
and faith, with the missions. The missionaries them- 
selves offered to take less than the merely subsistence 
allowance made to them, until the Church should have 
done its home work, rather than permit withdrawal from 
any station. The Cape Town mission was, indeed, 
given up, but only because its agent was transferred 
to the new Bengal station at Chinsurah. Mr. Anderson 
and the Rev. P. Rajahgopal were lighting up again in 
Scotland the missionary flame which Dr. Duff's first 
visit had kindled and Dr. Wilson's happy furlough 
at the Disruption had spread. A critic so good as 
Hugh Miller thus wrote of the Tamul convert, whom, 
remembering the Parsee minister Dhunjeebhoy, thou- 
sands crowded to see and hear : " One of the most 
remarkable speeches made in the Assembly was 
that by the young India convert and missionary, 
Rajahgopal. All that appeared to us, judging with 
the eye of a European, as defects in his appear- 
ance were speedily forgotten in the force of his 
oratory. His features began to glow with animation, 
a wondrous power seemed to pervade and breathe 
through all his frame, and his tones rang clear and full 
through the remotest corner of the great hall. Nor 
did we less admire his intellectual power." But 
while large sums were thus contributed for the more 
pressing wants of the Madras Mission, the genius of 

174 L1FE 0F DR - DUFF. 1850. 

a master was needed to call into existence a peren- 
nial supply for all. The £15,000 raised in 1847-48 
was twice the normal annual revenue before the 
Disruption, but what guarantee was there for the 
future ? 

Before starting on his tour in South India, Dr. Duff 
thus referred to the financial outlook, in a private 
letter to his loyal friend Dr. Tweedie : 

" I see you have had a discussion in the Edinburgh Pres- 
bytery on the subject of Associations. I truly sympathise with 
you in the midst of these waspish annoyances. I suppose it is 
part of the penalty which all must pay who strive with 
earnestness to push on God's great work in this world. Mean- 
while the trial to mere flesh and blood is not small ; but 
mighty is the grace and support of the Great Promiser. 
Your clear explanations cannot fail to have done good. The 
same mail brought a Witness* containing an editorial which, 
from internal evidence, I think must be from the pen of Mr. 

* Dr. Duff was, like all public men of that day who loved liberty, 
a grateful admirer of the Witness all the time it was edited by Hugh 
Miller. It is inexplicable that that newspaper should have been 
allowed to become extinct — its name and influence might be yet 
revived. Mr. Hugh Miller, of H.M. Geological Survey, has sent to 
us, too late for insertion in the proper place, the only letter from 
Dr. Duff preserved by his distinguished father. " Calcutta, June 
2nd, 1845 (Private). My Dear Sir, — Though personally unknown 
to me, methinks that in all broad Scotland there is no one better 
known. Being, through the kind attention of my friend Mr. John- 
stone, a reader of the Witness from its very commencement, it has 
often been in my heart to write to you. Not that I had anything 
particular to say, but having derived such unceasing gratification 
from the products of your pen, I often felt impelled to thank you 
as for a personal favour conferred. Often, when wearied and worn 
out by the never-ending ripple and attrition of labours in a 
strange field, have I been led to turn to the columns of the Witness, 
and there, in one or other of its fresh, racy and uniquely original 
editorials, have I often found a means of relaxation combined with 
pr<>6t. To you, Dear Sir, Scotland owes a debt of gratitude which, 
I fear, it neither will nor can ever repay. The Free Church in par- 
ticular, if it be lawful to indulge in such heathenish though classical 
allusions, owes you a nobler than an Olympian crown. May the 
Lord uphold and bless you still more and more." 


Lewis of Leith, on the subject of Associations. I think it 
admirable in spirit and conclusive in argument. I know this, 
that had I the means myself, I would print a hundred thousand 
copies of it and scatter it broadcast over the whole Church. 
I must say, that the Free Church cuts a' sorry figure in the 
eyes of the missionary world, from having no provision of any 
kind made for the widows of those who jeopard their lives in 
the high places of the field, in the evangelistic service of the 
Church. My own trust has simply been all along in God, and 
therefore I have been silent on the matter; but on some the 
subject operates very depressingly. 

" Since I last wrote a fine young man has come boldly out, 
and hitherto has resisted the importunities of friends. But 
the thought that your committee cannot employ any more as 
catechists, etc., operates most fatally in checking aspirations 
and preventing resolutions from being formed, at the time 
when the heart is warm and glowing — compelling, in fact, 
every young man, henceforward, to look to some secular calling 
as a means of livelihood. The Church prays and sighs for 
fruit ; and when God gives it, she then, owing to her own 
penuriousness, deliberately flings it all away. This, I think, is 
sin, on account of which the Lord will visit her by withholding 
His blessing. Indeed, here and elsewhere, it looks as if there 
were ominous signs of His doing so already. In that case 
missionaries had better at once retire ; and then let the faithless 
carnal ones see whether they can gather in the dribble now 
devoted to Missions, and add it to their own Sustentation Fund ! 
I trow not, or if they do, as material comforts increase at the 
expense of Missions, spiritual blessings will be withheld from 
their own souls and those of their flocks. God will not thus 
be mocked. I sometimes feel as if it were cowardly faithless- 
ness on my own part not plainly to speak out all this, and wash 
my hands of the whole guilt of it and retire to some other 
field of labour. For it stands to reason that, if moneys for 
spiritual work — work designed, through God, to convert souls 
— be given with a grudging, grumbling spirit, no real blessing 
can be expected. But I do believe that the grudging, 
grumbling spirit is very much confined to ministers of little 
faith, and carnal-minded deacons, who are better at keeping 
than giving money. I think the bulk of the donors give con 
amore, for Christ's sake ; and that is my ground of hope in the 

176 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1850. 

matter. Would to God that there were more prayer along 
with the money ! 

" Let me again say, now is the time to send us out a thorough 
educationist with a missionary spirit. A man of talent, ac- 
quired attainments, and especially conversant with improved 
methods of teaching, is needed more than I can tell. The 
work of this sort, which was once my delight, is far too much 
for me now; one hour of it now tells on my frame more than 
six hours of it was wont to do when I first landed on these 
shores. And yet without it we have no proper foundation — 
no prepared materials for higher teaching. I would there- 
fore implore the committee to send us such a man, in lieu of 
the late Mr. Miller, of Chinsurah." 

Amid the discomforts of sixteen days' imprison- 
ment in a steerage berth, and during the rest of a few- 
days at Southampton, he much revolved the remedy. 
When pacing the deck on his long Cape voyage in 1 834 
he had decided on Presbyterial Associations. Now, 
placing the support of a missionary to the heathen 
beside the " sustentation " of its own minister, as a 
spiritual duty equally imperative on every congre- 
gation, he aimed at weekly collections for both. 
Hurrying north to the General Assembly of 1850, 
after preaching in Regent Square Church, " to identify 
myself in spirit with our London friends," he thus 
again poured out his heart to Dr. Tweedie, on the 
3rd of May : 

" Tuesday, the 28th, would do well for our Missions. Could 
we not get the whole day for them ? How often is a whole 
day given to the discussion of a case of discipline ! And is 
too much to give to that of the greatest cause on earth ? There 
is your report; Anderson, Nesbit, perhaps Kajahgopal, will 
speak, why not some other members of Assembly ? Then 
I would require at least two or three hours, to be able to 
say anything at all. If the whole day were given to the 
Mission, I would prefer to have the evening, so as to take 
up any matters that may have dropped during the day, etc. 


For yourself alone, at present, let me state a few things 
that appear to me highly desirable to be done. First : To 
appoint a day of humiliation and prayer throughout the 
Church for past sins of negligence, with reference to the 
Redeemer's great command to evangelise the nations. This 
would, if done con amove, go much to the root of our evils, and 
mellow people's hearts and open the windows of heaven. 
Second : Substitute regular weekly subscriptions for the an- 
nual collections, as the only stable and productive and becoming 
source of supply for a great and permanent undertaking. 
Third : Let the rule of proportion be better established, with 
reference to men's liberalities towards different objects. 
Fourth : Cut me off a county or a synod in which to give fair 
trial to the new experiment. There is no other way of fairly 
testing it. Occasional addresses and appeals go for nothing. 
I should like to see a living machinery established as a speci- 
men somewhere." 

The " living machinery," the " stable and productive 
and becoming source of supply for a great and per- 
manent undertaking," was created. Such was the 
effect of his spiritual suasion on the country, the elders 
and the ministers, that the demands which he made, in 
the name of his Master, were conceded in the form 
of a quarterly — not weekly — Association in every con- 
gregation. The whole ten days' meeting was so marked 
by the contagion of the enthusiasm of himself and 
his Madras and Bombay coadjutors that it was pro- 
nounced " a Foreign Missions General Assembly." 

Before we proceed to the details of his crusade, let 
us look a little more closely at the oratorical weapon 
which he wielded. Since discussing the influences 
which moulded his rhetoric in 1835, we have received 
this account of his methods as given by himself in con- 
versation with his children during the last months of 
his life. Beginning with a reference to his university 
experiences at St. Andrews he said : " Among my 
fellow-students were Dr. Lindsay Alexander; Dr. Robert 

VOL. 11. n 

178 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1850. 

Lee; Dr. Arnot, of St. Giles's, Edinburgh; Dr. Forbes, 
the orientalist, and the three Craiks. In those days 
Robert Lee was as much of an Evangelical as myself, if 
not more. There were some finical notions he used to 
express which led me to expect his mind would take a 
turn that would prevent him from becoming a mis- 
sionary. Henry Craik was about the noblest of the 
whole set. I had a letter from his daughter the other 
day, with a little volume of poems, sent to me because 
she knew the feeling of regard I had for her father. 
The three Craiks were most remarkable men in their 
way. George, whose aspirations were all towards 
literature, had made up his mind to support himself by 
literature. Some of his works are worth studying 
now; for instance, ' The Life of Lord Bacon/ a very 
remarkable book. He threw light on some points in 
Bacon's literary character, which I have not seen taken 
notice of by any other author. His life of Bacon used 
to be one of my resources in Calcutta, as supplying 
profitable suggestions. The second was James, a 
most upright exemplary character, afterwards minister 
of St. George's, Glasgow, who also had a great zeal 
for missions. I remember, on my first return from 
India, he was minister of Scone. 

When I was at Perth, I used to walk out on a 
summer morning to the manse, to breakfast with 
him, and had conversations on missions which were 
always refreshing. I remember one morning in 
particular, in the course of conversation Craik 
remarked (we were very intimate in those days), 
4 Duff, there's one thing connected with your speeches 
which I cannot understand.' I said, 'What is that?' 
He said, ' To a stranger who knows nothing about 
your mental character, or how you go about pre- 
paring for public speaking, there is one thing which is 
always striking ; it is this : they seem from beginning 


to end to be sudden, impromptu, spontaneous 
effusions, and yet there are parts of them that look 
so artistically (I don't forget his words) and arti- 
ficially prepared that it is difficult to believe they 
are impromptu effusions. ' Well, I said to him as a 
friend in confidence, in a general way when I was 
called upon to make a specific speech on a special 
occasion, my method was this : I abhorred the idea of 
addressing a great public audience on any subject 
without thoroughly mastering all the principles and 
details of it. I revolved these over repeatedly in my 
own mind, until they became quite familiar to me. I 
then resolved, having a perfect understanding of the 
subject, to leave the modes of expressing my views, or 
embodying them in language, till the time of delivery. 
I felt, if I myself entirely understood my subject I 
ought to be able to make it reasonably intelligible to 
all thoughtful men. In the course of a long and 
elaborate speech on a vital and important subject, 
there were often points of a delicate nature which 
required equal delicacy, or even nicety in giving them 
formal expression. These particular points I thought 
over and over again, until not only the thought became 
fixed and confirmed, but also the very modes of ex- 
pressing it. So in the delivery of the speech; when 
these particular points came up, I did not leave them 
to any expressions which at the time might occur to me, 
but gave them in the language with which they had 
become riveted and associated in my own mind ; but 
coming up in this way in their natural place and con- 
nection, strangers might not know but that they were 
the spontaneous effusion of the moment, like all the 
rest of the speech. 

" On the spur of the moment I gave Oraik several 
illustrations of the real meaning and significancy of 
all this. To his great joy I was enabled to state to 

l8o LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1850. 

him that one morning, going out from Perth to 
Scone, the beauty of the morning sky, the fresh- 
ness of the verdure everywhere, the warbling of the 
birds, etc., suggested a passage then wrought out in 
my own mind, which afterwards formed what was 
reckoned one of the most stirring of the passages 
in one of my Assembly speeches. If I ever com- 
mitted a speech to writing and then to memory, to 
my own mind it always seemed to prove more or 
less a failure. The sermon I delivered in Calcutta, 
on the day of thanksgiving appointed by Lord 
Canning after the Mutiny, was delivered without 
a note, and though urgently pressed to publish it, I 
found it impossible to recall it. Sir James Outram, 
Beadon and others were present. " 

Daring the ten days and nights of the General 
Assembly of 1850, of which the Rev. Dr. 1ST. Paterson, 
of Glasgow, was the Moderator, Dr. Duff delivered five 
addresses. Published separately because of the 
crowds whom they drew to the great Tanfield Hall of 
Disruption memories, and of the interest which the 
imperfect report excited throughout Scotland and the 
evangelical churches, these orations cover eighty pages. 
As a whole they are marked by a condensation of style 
which the very fulness and variety of the speaker's 
experience, drawn from the wide extent of India, 
forced upon him. " This time twenty-one years ago," 
he began, " when I was set apart by the Church of 
Scotland to proceed to India, all the world seemed 
to be in a state of calm ; there might be said to 
be a universal calm at least in the world of politics. 
Many, however, regarded it as the calm which was 
to precede the storm and earthquake ; and truly the 
earthquake speedily came — the French Revolution and 
its convulsions, and social changes in this land in con- 
nection with the Reform Bills and such like. So that, 


on returning four or five years afterwards, it appeared 
as if something like an earthquake had passed over the 
social fabric of this country ; as if the accustomed 
manners and habits of the people had exhibited some- 
what the aspect of a social chaos, and to it might 
figuratively be applied the words of a national poet — 

* Crags, rocks, and knolls conf us'dly hurled, 
The fragments of an earlier world.' 

" Since returning the last time, and looking about 
expecting to find greater social changes from the still 
greater earthquake which had passed over this land, 
especially in the Church department, it was the 
delight not only of myself but of others from abroad, 
to find that instead of such a chaos all things had 
quietly settled down and were progressing in harmony 
and in order ; that the old Church in its new and free 
form had risen up entire in all its organisms and com- 
plete in all its parts." Now, he argued, that the 
machinery is perfect, apply it to foreign missions. 
" When addressing the General Assembly fifteen years 
ago, my knowledge of India was comparatively limited. 
It is so no longer. I feel this night, if there were 
time and patience on the part of the House, and if 
strength on my part were vouchsafed, that it would 
be easier for me to speak for six hours than for 
one. If the Lord spare me and I am privileged to 
visit different parts of the land, all I have gathered in 
connection with India shall be poured throughout 
Scotland in good time." 

His first speech, on the first business day of the 
Assembly, was on the report of the committee for the 
conversion of the Jews. As a missionary to the Gen- 
tiles he sought to express the intensity of his sym- 
pathies with a cause which is emphatically that of 
foreign missions. He told of his own Jewish converts; 

1 82 LIFE OP DJJ. DUFF. 1850. 

lie described the last hours and Christian confession of 
the Rabbi whom, and whose family, he had baptized. 
He sketched the condition of the three Jewish settle- 
ments in Western and Southern India, and he pled for 
" harmony and earnest co-operation in promoting the 
spiritual and eternal welfare alike of Jews and Gentiles. " 
On this the first occasion of addressing a General 
Assembly of the Free Church, he then asked the vast 
audience to bear with him while he poured out his 
testimony to the principles of spiritual and civil liberty 
for which the missionaries and ministers of the 
Disruption had sacrificed their all. Two days after, 
" as a colonist,'* he moved the adoption of the report 
on colonial and continental missions, telling the story of 
the Calcutta congregation, and advocating the claims 
of the Eurasians on the brotherhood of Englishmen as 
they had " never yet been pled before an ecclesiastical 
court in this land." He had still to sweep away 
another prejudice against the cause he represented, 
and yet it exists. Reminding the Church that he 
had, from the banks of the Ganges, long since volun- 
teered the assertion that Dr. Chalmers's Sustentation 
Fund for the ministers " is the backbone of the whole 
ecclesiastical establishment," he said, " With the 
same intensity with which I wish to see all nations 
evangelised and the gospel carried to all lands, I 
would wish to see this and other sustentation funds 
augmented vastly beyond their present measure, so 
as not only to uphold the existing ministry at the 
present rate, but in the way of vastly greater com- 
petency ; yea, and to see the fund increased so that 
it may maintain double the number of ministers, and 
overtake not only the existing religionism but the 
existing heathenism of the land." 

Then in his fourth and fifth speeches he came to 
his own special subject of the India Mission. The 

JEt. 44. AS AN OEATOR. 1 83 

present writer remembers the time as that of his first 
experience of the orator's power. On each night, now 
swaying his arms towards the vast audience around 
and even above him, on the roof, and now jerking his 
left shoulder with an upward motion till the coat 
threatened to fall off, the tall form kept thousands 
spell-bound while the twilight of a northern May night 
changed into the brief darkness, and the tardy lights 
revealed the speaker bathed in the flood of his im- 
passioned appeals. As the thrilling voice died away 
in the eager whisper which, at the end of his life, 
marked all his public utterances, and the exhausted 
speaker fell into a seat, only to be driven home to a 
couch of suffering, and then of rest barely sufficient to 
enable his fine constitution to renew and repeat again 
and again the effort, the observer could realize the 
expenditure of physical energy which, as it marked 
all he did, culminated in his prophet-like raptures. 

In the midst of the speech of the 29th May, Dr. 
Tweedie took advantage of the climax which followed 
the description of the Seringham pagoda, to interrupt 
him. In truth, the leading men around him trembled 
for his life if he were to go on when it was near 
midnight, and in an atmosphere which could scarcely 
be breathed, and must be particularly oppressive to 
the eloquent speaker. The alarmed friend begged 
that the conclusion might be postponed. Dr. Duif 
was roused by the applause of the House to declare 
that he must go on ; and he did so for two hours 
more, while not a hearer moved save to catch the 
almost gasping utterance towards the close. His 
last speech, introduced by a debate on Popery, after 
vividly describing the Jesuit order in India, and the 
Protestant Missions in the South, glided again into 
the loved theme of the Church's duty to the heathen. 
The Assembly had risen towards his ideal a little 

184 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1850. 

nearer than in his letters to Dr. Tweed ie he had 
ventured to expect. " Not only since the commence- 
ment of this Church in its present protesting form, 
but since the day, I may well and emphatically add, 
when the trumpet peal of victory sounded forth on 
the completion of the great Reformation of the six- 
teenth century, there has not been manifested by any 
Assembly of the Church of Scotland such a vital 
interest in the cause of Missions as has been mani- 
fested by this Assembly. Night after night has been 
devoted to the consideration of missionary objects. " 
Spoken by a Highlander to a Scottish audience, this 
passage produced an effect which we have never seen 
equalled in any audience, popular or cultured : 

" In days of yore, though unable to sing myself, I was wont 
to listen to the Poems of Ossian, and to many of those melodies 
that were called Jacobite songs. I may now, without any fear 
of being taken up for high treason or for rebellion, refer to 
the latter, for there never was a Sovereign who was more 
richly and deservedly beloved by her subjects than she who 
now sits on the throne of Great Britain — Queen Victoria — and 
there are not among her Majesty's subjects any men whose 
hearts beat more vigorously with the pulse of loyalty than the 
descendants of those chieftains and clansmen who a century 
ago shook the Hanoverian throne to its foundation. While 
listening to these airs of the olden time, some stanzas and 
sentiments made an indelible impression upon my mind. 
Roving in the days of my youth over the heathery heights, or 
climbing the craggy steeps of my native land, or lying down 
to enjoy the music of the roaring waterfalls, I was wont to 
admire the heroic spirit which they breathed ; and they 
became so stamped in memory that I have carried them with 
me over more than half the world. One of these seemed 
to me to embody the quintessence of loyalty of an earthly 
kind. It is the stanza in which it is said by the father or 
mother, — 

' I hae but ae son, the brave young Donald ; ' 


and then the gush of emotion turned his heart as it were 
inside out, and he exclaimed, — 

'But, oh, had I ten, they would follow Prince Charlie/ 

Are these the visions of romance — the dreams of poetry and 
of song ? Oh, let that rush of youthful warriors, from 
'bracken, bush, and glen/ that rallied round the standards 
of Glenfinnan, — let the gory beds, and cold, cold grassy 
winding-sheets of bleak Culloden Muir bear testimony to the 
reality, the intensity of the loyalty to an earthly prince ; and 
shall a Highland father and mother give up all their children 
as an homage to earthly loyalty, and shall I be told that in 
the Churches of Christ, in the Free Church of Scotland, 
fathers and mothers will begrudge their children to Him who 
is the King of kings and Lord of lords ? Will they testify 
their loyalty to an earthly prince, to whom they lie under very 
little obligation, by giving up all their sons, while they refuse, 
when it comes to the point of critical decision, even one son 
for the army of Immanuel, to whom they owe their life, their 
salvation, their all ? Surely, if this state of things be con- 
tinued, we may well conclude that we are in an age of little 
men, and that with all our loud talkings we have not risen 
beyond the stature of pigmies in soundness, or loyalty, or 
devotedness to our heavenly King. Oh, then, let this matter 
weigh heavily on our minds. I have been affected beyond 
measure during the last twelve months at finding, from one 
end of India to the other, monuments of British dead. In a 
solitary place at Bamnad, on the banks of the Straits of Palk 
that overlook Ceylon — a place entirely out of the way — I was 
deeply affected to find a humble tombstone erected to the 
memory of a young officer brought up on the braes of Athole, 
in a parish adjacent to my own. I thought the father and 
mother of this young man had no objection to send out their 
son here in search of military renown, only to find his grave ; 
but probably they would have refused him to the service of 
Christ as a humble missionary of the Cross. From one end 
of India to the other the soil is strewn with British slain or 
British dead. There is not a valley, nor dell, nor burning 
waste, from one end of India to the other, that is not enriched 
with the bones, and not a rivulet or stream which has not 
been dyed with the blood of Scotia's children. And will you, 

1 86 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1850. 

fathers and mothers, send out your children in thousands in 
quest of this bubble fame — this bubble wealth — this bubble 
honour and perishable renown, and will you prohibit them 
fr< m going forth in the army of the great Immanuel, to win 
crowns of glory and imperishable renown in the realms of 
everlasting day ? Oh, do not refuse their services — their 
lives if necessary — or the blood of the souls of perishing 
millions may be required at your hands. Fathers and mothers 
are not responsible for grace in the hearts of their offspring, 
but they are responsible for using the means in their power ; 
and I now refer only to those who habitually discourage their 
sons and daughters, and throw obstacles in the way, when 
they would enter the missionary field, while they would hurl 
them forth to battle and to death." 

The Assembly of 1850 was remarkable for the ad- 
dresses, not only of Dr. Duff, Mr. Ncsbit of Bom- 
bay, Mr. Anderson of Madras, and his first convert, 
the Rev. P. Rajahgopal. The distinguished Bengal 
civilian and lawyer, Mr. Justice Hawkins, who passed 
away within the last year, viadicated the system of 
Dr. Duff as the peculiar glory of the Scottish Mis- 
sions, and gave his honorary services as the home 
secretary of the congregational associations about to 
be formed for their extension. Citing as a further 
authority the evangelist, who, after opposing that 
system when a London minister, had devoted the 
rest of his life to working it, he said, " I remember 
when speaking on this subject to the dearest friend 
I ever had, the late John Macdonald, he observed, 
' Were our Church alone the Church of Christ in this 
land, were missionary operations confined to us, I 
would then desire to see our Church diverting some 
of her present strength from teaching to the more 
direct preaching of the Word. But in looking on all 
the various sections combined as forming the Church 
of Christ, and in seeing others chiefly engaged in 
preaching, is it not a sufficient answer to objectors to 


say that both means are necessary, and that we by 
teaching are supplementing what is wanting in their 
system ? ' But there is a reason of greater weight 
still, and that is what our young friend from Madras 
(Rajahgopal) has well pointed out. The mere preach- 
ing of the Word would not have reached the vast 
majority of the people. The better classes will not 
attend the preaching of the missionary ; the only way 
in which they can be reached is by the agency of such 
Institutions as those of the Free Church. Rajahgopal 
declared that, but for your Institution in Madras, 
he would, humanly speaking, have been a heathen 
still, for in the days of his darkness he would never 
have gone near a preacher of the truth. " 

Before the most solemn and pathetic act when the 
Moderator, the whole House and audience standing, 
speaks : " Reverend Fathers and Brethren, as this 
Assembly was constituted in the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, the sole King and Head of His Church, 
I am now called, in His holy and blessed name, to 
pronounce it dissolved " ; and all unite in singing the 
rugged strains of Rous's version of the 133rd Psalm, 
the last resolution was this : " The Assembly instruct 
the committee to take steps for bringing the subject of 
Foreign Missions fully before the mind of the Church, 
and that in such a way as may be arranged between 
the committee and the synod or presbytery which 
Dr. Duff or the other brethren may agree to visit. 
The Assembly appoint these visitations to begin with 
the synod of Perth, and after that has been over- 
taken, to be extended from synod to synod, as cir- 
cumstances may direct, until they shall, if possible, 
have gone over the whole bounds of the Church. " 

For the next three and a half years Dr. Duff gave 
himself to the creating of his new organization — an 
association for prayer, information, and the quarterly 

1 88 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1850. 

collection of subscriptions for the Missions in every one 
of the then 700 and now 1,040 congregations of the Free 
Church of Scotland. In 1835-39 he had addressed the 
seventy-one presbyteries aud the larger congregations 
only, all over Scotland. Now he undertook, and ac- 
complished, the still more serious task of exhorting 
and informing not only a new generation of presby- 
teries, but every congregation, however humble, or 
distant, or difficult of access. He must put every 
member, adherent, and even Sunday scholar, en rapport 
with the Master's work in India and Africa. His first 
crusade, and all that Chalmers and Guthrie had since 
done both before and after the Disruption, had edu- 
cated the people into giving as no section of the 
universal Church had done since Barnabas had sold 
his all. What was wanted was such intelligence on 
the part of a new race of ministers and elders that 
the free-will offerings of the half of the Scottish 
nation, Highland and Lowland, might systematically 
flow out beyond the bounds of sect and party into the 
wider and truly catholic region of their Indian and 
African fellow-subjects. He had to teach his own 
countrymen, and especially his fellow-ministers, a 
second lesson in Christian economics. Chalmers, like 
Inglis, was gone; save Dr. Gordon, advancing in 
years, and Dr. Tweedie, then inexperienced, there was 
none to raise the Church to a still higher level by a 
foreign or imperial policy greater than that of the 
noblest statesmen of earth because divine. "I shall 
give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the 
uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession," was 
the charter to which he appealed. 

In his own country, as in India, separated from his 
family then requiring most of all a father's care ; in 
winter and in summer; in weariness and often in 
pain; cast down by discouragements, but more 


frequently cheered by sympathetic success and every- 
where received with the warm hospitality of the 
manse, he who was still the first missionary of his 
country pursued his work, inspired by an enthusiasm 
before which the most repulsive and exhausting work 
was sweet. His almost daily letters to his wife form 
a record of affection sublimated by the divinity of his 
mission which cannot, for long at least, be submitted 
to the world. But there are passages which may be 
quoted now, revealing the man as well as his work. 
In the four months between the close of the General 
Assembly and the meeting of its " commission " in 
November, 1850, he visited every congregation of 
what may be called his own synod of Perth, where 
he began well with the people of Dr. R. Macdonald, 
then of Blairgowrie. Before, or soon after his return 
to Bengal, he had secured the establishment of five 
hundred — since increased to seven hundred — associa- 
tions, yielding a "sure and continuous increase " of 
funds to meet " the requirements of a continuous ex- 
penditure. " Not till after his own death, and in the 
past year of calamity in Scotland unexampled since 
the Darien expedition, did that increase cease to go 
on growing. But the fund has still to reach the 
permanent minimum of "not less than £30,000 or 
£40,000, for our Foreign Missions " fixed by him thirty 
years ago, though it has once or twice exceeded that, 
and the whole annual revenue for the Missions from 
foreign as well as home sources has long been above 

As during his first furlough in 1835, Dr. Duff's 
campaign included England, Wales and Ireland, in 
addition to Scotland, though the first three rather 
that he might tell the Church of England, Wesleyan 
and Welsh societies, and the Ulster Presbyterians, 
how worthy their Indian agents were of more 

I9O LIFE OF Dll. DUFF. 185 1. 

generous support. He had another object in 
view. The time for the East India Company ap- 
plying to Parliament for a renewal of its twenty years 
charter was at hand, and he desired to create among 
the governing as well as missionary classes, and 
the Directors, such an intelligent interest as would, 
without public agitation, in the first instance, secure 
justice to non-Government education in India, whether 
Christian, Hiudoo, Parsee or Muhammadan. To Dr. 
Tweedie he wrote confidentially from London on the 
11th February, 1851: 

" My dear Friend, — Yesterday I had a grand meeting with 
the leading men of the Church Missionary Society. Be- 
tween forty and fifty assembled during the business hours of 
the day. That so many influential laymen should so assemble 
to hear about their Indian missions and receive suggestions 
concerning them, was one of the pleasantest and healthfulesfc 
symptoms I have yet met with. Truly when the Church of 
England people are devoted, their devotedness is of a rarely 
simple, graceful, and winning order. The flower of English 
devotional piety woven around the sturdy trunk of our Scottish 
orthodoxy would give us the highest attainable relative per- 
fectionism of the Christian man. To see men like Lord H. 
Cholmondeley, Sir Peregrine Maitland, Admiral Hope, and 
others of like rank, enter with childlike simplicity into mis- 
sionary details— not as a dry matter of business, but of hearty 
love — was a cheering spectacle not soon to be forgotten. 

" Last night I spent out at Teddington with Mr. Strachan 
and friends, to see and come to understanding with them as to 
the ground that should be occupied in a conjoint movement 
on the subject of Government education in India. It was well 
that we had the meeting. With earnest desires to do what they 
could in so noble a cause, they were lamentably deficient in 
information on many vital points ; and had they gone for- 
ward earlier, as they once meant to have done, they would 
assuredly have greatly damaged the cause which they meant 
to revive. I am happy to say that we parted with a clear 
mutual understanding on the subject. The first object is to 


see privately some of the leading members of the court, that 
may be most open to conviction ; next to place a statement on 
the subject before the court as a remedy — since, were the 
court to take up the matter, and resolve to do substantially 
what is required, there would be no occasion for agitating the 
country at all. Wiiile, however, I deem this the most Chris- 
tian course in itself, and the most respectful to the court, 
I confess I have no very sanguine expectation that it will 
take action in the right direction, unless constrained to do 
so by 'the pressure from without/ But our having tried 
the quieter and more peaceful mode first, will give us, in the 
eye of the public, a great advantage should an appeal to its 
verdict be rendered necessary." 

We shall see, in the next chapter, that the very 
effectual pressure of Parliament and prolonged public 
discussion were required to secure the concession 
of justice. We now confine the narrative to Dr. 
Duff's revelations of himself and his work in brief 
letters to his wife, written in all the haste of incessant 
travel and public meetings. The spiritual breathings 
sbow the source of the energy which, while it fed the 
Church and attracted the world, ever renewed his youth 
till the last hour, according to the old promise to those 
who thus wait on the Lord : " they shall run, and not 
be weary ; they shall walk, and not faint." 

Carnarvon, 10th Sept., 1851. — " On Tuesday forenoon I 
had a long and animated interview with the celebrated 
Dr. McNeile, of Liverpool. We both harmonized famously 
on the whole subject of Popery, and so had an exhilarating 
conversation. Missions too, and prophecy, the preparatives 
to the millennial glory, were fully discoursed of — agreeing 
fully on all points, but agreeing to differ as to dogmatic 
views on the personal advent and reign of Christ; Dr. 
McNeile seeing his way to be very positive on that head, while 
I do not. But he spoke with exceeding candour and forbear- 
ance, and so we parted full of warm expressions of mutual 
regard and goodwill; Dr. McNeile again and again thanking 
me for the visit, and saying he was rejoiced and strengthened 

IQ2 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 185 1. 

by what he heard from me, with many more complimentary 
things besides. 

" This morning, at nine o'clock, attended a meeting of the 
Welsh Conference. They were putting questions to five can- 
didates for the ministry, in Welsh. Suddenly I was asked by 
the Moderator to address them on the duties of the ministry, 
in English, which, by God's help, I attempted to do. 

Bangor, 13£/t Sept. — u Yesterday, at two o'clock, I preached 
to the largest audience I ever addressed in this world — amount- 
ing by computation to between fifteen and twenty thousand 
people ! At the synod meetings of the Calviuistic Methodists 
of Wales there are open-air preachings, at which some of their 
more popular men officiate. On the present occasion the 
place chosen was a green park behind the city of Carnarvon — 
being a continuation of the upward acclivity on which the 
town is built. It looks to the west on the Menai Straits and 
the Isle of Anglesea — the small hill of Holyhead, whence the 
Irish packet sails, in the distant west. To the north-east, east, 
and south-east, are the lofty Vv^elsh hills, Snowdon distant only 
eight or nine miles. At the foot of the park a temporary stage 
is erected for the preacher and fifty more, covered over with 
canvas above, and all around except the front. The people 
assemble all around and underneath this platform, stretching 
out some hundreds of yards on either side of it, and from 
this extended base line crowding up in front to the upper 
end of the park, like a compacted cone or pyramid of living 
heads. From the platform the spectacle exhibited is a very 
exciting and wonder-striking one. 

" On Wednesday there were two sermons here in the after- 
noon. But yesterday was the great day. Never was there a 
clearer sky in these British isles, nor a warmer sun at this 
season of the year, than yesterday at Carnarvon. From ten to 
one o'clock — prayer, psalms, and two sermons. Then an 
hour's interval for the people to retire for refreshment. A 
little before two, the broad street leading up to the park was 
a living moving stream of human beings; every second 
person carrying a chair aloft — holding it by the back, the four 
legs pointing to the zenith, to prevent accidents. At two 
o'clock the great living cone or pyramid was formed. It is 
astonishing how densely they were packed, and more men 
than women, making allowance for the hat- wearing women. 

^Et. 45. OPEN-AIR PEEACHING. 1 93 

Considering the busy season of the year — the thick of harvest 
— it was surprising to see such multitudes congregated from 
the districts all around. And such quietude and fixedness of 
attention and general decorum ! 

" It was not willingly that I ventured to address such a 
throng. First, I felt as if my voice could not reach the twen- 
tieth part of them. Second, not above a twentieth part 
could understand English. But the synod unanimously re- 
quested me to preach, saying there were many sprinkled over 
the mass who could understand, and that the testimony for 
the great truths of the gospel from a stranger would tell on 
all who understood, and through them, on others by interpre- 
tation. So I reluctantly yielded. But I was really glad I did 
so. From the stillness of the multitude, and the absence of 
even a breeze, it seems my voice reached the outer skirts of 
the amazing throng — one of the ministers having walked 
gently round on purpose to ascertain the point. And what I 
was enabled to say appeared to cheer greatly those who under- 
stood, for I heard the responding groan loudly sounded from 
individuals in all directions. 

" What astonished me was the fixed look and marked 
attention of the thousands who understood not a single word 
of what I uttered. Beforehand such a phenomenon might 
seem incredible. Almost all were seated, generally two on a 
chair. The psalm-singing, with its singular plaintiveness and 
richness of tone and depth of heart-melody, was the sub- 
limest thing of the kind I ever listened to. About half-past 
four the Welsh sermon ended, then a few verses of a psalm, 
short prayer and blessing. In a moment the prodigious mass 
was on the move. Thousands of chairs were upheaved, with 
legs high in air — a perfect forest in quick motion. In the 
evening services were in all the chapels. 

" Such meetings sprang up naturally, when there was a great 
spirit of revival in the laud, and a real thirst for God's word at 
the hands of heaven's gifted evangelists. People then, craving 
for a preached gospel, crowded, by a sort of resistless instinct, 
to hear it proclaimed with power. But in ordinary times, 
when numbers, without any such heart-thirstings, attend out 
of deference to hereditary custom, it is questionable whether 
the evil of such promiscuous gatherings, more especially of 
the young, may not exceed the good reaped by any. 


194 LIFJ3 OP DR. DUFF. 185 1. 

" To-night I address a meeting in this place, where there 
are many strangers at present who understand English. This 
forenoon I have been inspecting the Menai suspension and 
tubular bridges in this neighbourhood — the grandest monu- 
ments of mechanical science in the world." 

Woolwich, 22nd Se}jt. — "Yesterday I officiated for Mr. 
Thomson, who is very unwell. The congregation consists in 
a large measure of officers and soldiers, a very interesting and 
affecting spectacle. In the evening, I referred to the obli- 
gation of those who have been blessed with the gospel to 
send it to those still destitute of it. There was no collection 
made, but I believe Colonel Anderson and others mean to 
make a private subscription and send the amount to me, as a 
token of goodwill towards our Mission. At the close of the 
forenoon service a person sent word to the vestry that she 
wished to speak to me. On my going out, she began by saying 
that she was a servant ; that, being a nurse in an officer's 
family, she could not get out at night ; that the Lord had done 
much for her soul, and she desired to be grateful by remem- 
bering His cause ; that she happened to be in Edinburgh and 
heard me at last Assembly, and she concluded by begging me 
to accept of her mite for sending the gospel to the perishing 
heathen. So saying, she put a sovereign into my hand. I 
looked with some degree of wonder. She noticed my surprise, 
and simply in substance remarked, ' Oh, sir, what is that com- 
pared with what He has done for my soul!' And then she 
wound up by requesting that I would not make her name 
known ! Verily, it is refreshing to meet with such specimens 
of pure gold of the sanctuary in the midst of mountain heaps 
of such noisome rubbish of carnality and selfishness. On 
we must go, for these are some of the smiles of a Father's love, 
amid many many discouragements."* 

Whitehaven, 29th Nov. — " Reached Carlisle at quarter to 
ten o'clock, a hundred miles in three hours including all 
stoppages ! What a revolution in travelling since that awful 
weary night when you and I left Edinburgh, 1st Nov., 1839, at 

* This was one of many similar cases. More tlian one artisan 
and domestic servant have sent us, for perusal, letters which they 
treasure from Dr. Duff, who was more careful to acknowledge, in 
loving words, the self-sacrifice of the humble, than all that the rich 
gave out of their abundance. 


nine p.m., reaching Carlisle to breakfast next morning between 
eight and nine, with bones and backs half-broken with jam- 
ming in a box of a coach, and eyes half-blind with attempts 
(alas, how vain!) at sleep; and hearts filled with sadness at 
the thought of those left behind ! And yet, after twelve years, 
we have three of them still with us — as if the Lord by His 
goodness were rebuking our faint-heartedness. One is gone 
— gone from us ; but oh, I do live in the hope that she has 
only gone before us to hail our arrival (if we are upheld faith- 
ful to the end) in a better world. I seldom allude to the dear 
child that bore your name, but the sweet image of her often 
crosses my mind. She was a perfectly loveable one ; and T 
know not whether I ever felt any stroke so acutely as her 
unexpected death. And even still, when alone by myself, the 
thought of her cheerful animated countenance, with its sweet 
expression and lisping tongue, often brings the tear to my 
eye, as now. . . In the same coach were several gentle- 
men belonging to this place. Among other topics of conversa- 
tion was the expected preaching of Dr. Duff, in the Presbyterian 
church to-morrow — asking each other whether they were to 
attend, etc. Some said yes ; and a foolish fop with flippant 
nonchalance remarked that he would rather go to the theatre 

than to any preaching, or even to hear Mrs. (I could not 

catch the name) deliver her lecture on Bloomerisni ! No doubt 
this was quite sincere. It is the spirit of the world ; and that 
is the antagonist of the gospel. 

u Mr. Glasgow, the Irish missionary from Goojarat, whom I 
saw there, is sure to meet with me. Cumberland, I understand, 
is very cold and dead in religious matters ; and as to liberality 
in giving, it seems to be utterly unknown here. In the largest 
Episcopal church here, with 1,500 in it, where the annual 
deputation comes from the Church Missionary Society, they 
announce after two or three sermons are preached, that the 
handsome, or sometimes they word it actually the ' munifi- 
cent ' collection, of six or seven pounds has been made. When 
Mr. Burns lately showed some of the rich folks the announce- 
ment of £750 of a collection in Dr. Miller's, Glasgow, they 
would not believe it, alleging that there was a figure too much 
— that it must be either £75 or £50, and that even that 
seemed to them incredible ! When Mr. Barns assured them 
it was no mistake, they got off by sayiug, 'Then surely 

196 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1852. 

these people don't know how to value their money!' What 
stolid blindness ! as if what was given to God's cause, was so 
much thrown away and lost, instead of being the only money 
really saved !" 

Manchester, 2Uh Dec. — " Our great meeting came off last 
eveniug, and, by God's blessing, nobly. It was much owing to 
Barbour's skilful management. No such platform has been 
seen here, on any such occasion. Pastors of all churches 
present, and several clergy of the English Church ; Hugh 
Stowell, etc., speaking, making motions. Some of the lead- 
ing laity. The meeting quite an enthusiastic one. Before 
breaking up nearly a thousand pounds were announced 
as subscriptions, in hundreds and fifties ; Barbour himself 
giving £500. After a rather restless night I feel this morning 
tolerably well ; but, on the whole, it must be confessed to be too 
much for me. Oh that the Lord may come down among us in 
showers of blessing ! I have to address a meeting to-morrow." 

Glasgow, 19th Feb., 1852.— "Dr. Forbes dined with the 
Lorimers, after which we proceeded to Hope Street Church, 
the largest Free Church in Glasgow. It was crowded, pas- 
sages and all, to the very doors. It was a noble audience. 
Ah, how responsible a position to have to address such an 
assemblage of immortal souls ! I mourn that I do not feel it 
half enough, nor a tithe enough. There seemed to be an 
earnest response. Some of the ministers spoke shortly after- 
wards, all very warm ; honest Dr. Lorimer alluding fully to 
his quarter- century's acquaintance with me. This morning, 
joined Miss Dennistoun, sister of Mrs. (Dr.) Wilson, Bombay ; 
and Mrs. Wodrow (widow of Wodrow the great advocate of 
the Jews, and descendant, I believe, of the historian) at 
breakfast. Thereafter a succession of callers." 

Paisley, 16th March. — "I came here yesterday forenoon, 
met with the presbytery, and addressed a public meeting 
in the evening. All very cordial in this quarter. But I am 
nearly done up. Last week I delivered five addresses at 
Greenock and two at Dumbarton, beside the Sabbath services 
before and after. Here I gave two addresses yesterday, I have 
another to night, and one to-morrow." 

Wick Bay, 19th June. — (After a stormy passage.) "Oh for 
more real inward life in the midst of this endless tumult and 
turmoil ! " 

JEt 46. IN THE FAR NORTH. 1 97 

Thurso Castle, 12th July. — "This morning your anxiously 
looked -for communications reached me at Wick, dated 8th 
and 9th. I hope that on the 9th, at least, you would have 
received two letters from me — one dated 6th, on board the 
steamer in Kirkwall Bay, and the other of the same date after 
arriving at Wick. Be so good as to tell me specially in your 
next whether these came to hand. Truly the 9th July, 1829, 
(their marriage day) was a memorable day in our eventful 
history. The Lord be praised for its abounding mercies. Our 
cup has been made to run over — goodness and mercy follow- 
ing all our days and through all our steps. Oh that there 
were a corresponding ripening of the soul in divine things — 
brighter visions of glory ! On Wednesday, I proceeded with 
Mr. Thomson to meet the presbytery at Thurso, distant 
twenty-one miles — Mr. Taylor, of Pulteneytown, minister, ac- 
companying us. Sir George Sinclair (from whom I had several 
pressing invitations to stay with him a week or two at least) 
was at the meeting, which ended in a way the most satis- 
factory. We afterwards dined together. In the evening I 
addressed a public meeting of, they said, at least 1,600 — the 
large area of the church being crammed in every corner. It 
was a terrible stew. I was soon in a regular bath ; my very 
coat being wet through ; the consequent exhaustion what 
might be expected. But the result more than made up for all. 

u That same night we returned to Wick, which we reached 
at daybreak next morning. On Thursday night I had another 
public meeting at Wick; as the election-phrenzied arrange- 
ments on Friday prevented its being held on that day as 
originally intended. Then on Sabbath I had two services — 
one in Pulteneytown, the other in Wick. The latter tried me 
greatly, as Thomson's church, when crammed as it was, 
contains about 2,000. During the service I was greatly 
strengthened in body and otherwise ; but when done, I felt 
so gone, that I could only get home and throw myself into bed, 
being unable to sit up even in an easy-chair. But this morn- 
ing, through the really fatherly and motherly attentions of 
Mr. and Mrs. Thomson (whose kindness could not possibly be 
surpassed) I felt greatly revived. And from all I hear I have 
reason to thank God for the service of yesterday, which seems 
to have been owned of Him in a peculiar way. To Mr. Thom- 
son many have spoken with tears of gratitude for impressions 

I98 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1852. 

produced. A civic dignitary, not usually over-attentive in 
religious matters, told him, that 'he could listen for ever to 
that man/ and begged that ' when the collection for the 
Mission commenced, they would come to him.' Now, is 
not this a smile from above ? It is the Lord's gracious 
way; when the frown comes to humble one, the smile 
comes to cheer up again. Praised be His holy name. Sir 
George very kindly sent his conveyance for me to Wick, 
and I am now under his roof — treated by this man of God 
not merely as a brother, but as if I were his superior ! Oh, 
what a softening, subduing power is grace ! How it brings 
down all lofty imaginations ! and brings all to the obedience 
of Christ \» 

Golspie, 17th July. — " What I long for is a little repose, to 
get mind and body brought back to some degree of equili- 
brium. What with incessant travelling and speaking, for the 
last two nights I have had, on one only two hours sleep, and 
the other three, that I might now almost sleep standing. I 
have, however, experienced much of the loving-kindness of 
the Lord ; and that makes up for all fatigues, so far as the 
spirit is concerned." 

Alness, 24<th July. — "Your two most welcome letters were 
waiting me. For them, and especially the long and affec- 
tionate letter of the 19th, I return my warmest thanks. Truly 
the 19th July, 1834 (day of first departure from Calcutta, 
vol. i. page 269), was an ever-memorable day in our eventful 
history. And I always feel that it would be the basest 
ingratitude to our heavenly Father, who so marvellously 
carried us through the trials of that day, to forget it. 
Yea, if I forget the 19th July, 1834, 'let my right hand 
forget her cunning ; if I do not remember it, let my tongue 
cleave to the roof of my mouth/ This I do not feel to be 
too strong language to apply to a day of such signal trials 
mingled with such signal mercies. May He who hitherto 
hath spared us and our then helpless children still in the 
land of the living, mercifully continue to spare us all still — 
that as living monuments of His mercy and grace we may con- 
tinue to celebrate His praise." 

26th July. — (Dr. Duff had feared that he could not meet 
his daughter and her husband before they returned to India.) 
" I now do thank God, my heavenly Father, for removing my 


fears on this head — fears, the offspring of disappointment at 
the thought of not meeting the objects of affection. R/s 
note again revived my sorely wounded and drooping spirit. 
And yesterday was a precious day to me. At the Assembly, 
Mr. Flyter, (from his daughter being married to one of our 
missionaries, and from General Munro, who did such noble 
work in Travaucore, being his principal support) secured 
from me a conditional promise that I would preside on the 
occasion of his sacrament. The English services were in 
the church ; the Gaelic services outside in a neighbouring 
wood, fitted up with benches, tent, etc. I had, therefore, the 
English action sermon, fencing the tables, and the serving of 
the first table — occupying altogether upwards of three hours. 
The day was wet ; the church, a large one, crammed, passages 
and all. There was not a breath of air. So it was a vapour- 
bath, somewhat like Calcutta at the end of the wet season 
I was drenched clean through — my very coat soaking through. 
But notwithstanding, it was to my own soul a mighty re- 
freshment; I had glorious views of the Saviour's finished 
work, and His gracious nearness in the communion. By His 
blessing others appear to have been similarly refreshed. Oh 
that such vivid impressions were abiding ! But it seems too 
much for earth, and for human nature, in its present state, to 
expect this. It is only in heaven that the glorified soul and 
body can sustain uninterrupted, bright and immediate vision 
of the Triune Jehovah. 

Near the Foot op Ben Nevis, 12th Aug. — " I am seated 
at a window looking across on Ben Nevis, which has not 
yet uncovered its brow from its nightcap of clouds. But the 
whole scene is elevating and imposing. On Tuesday morning 
I came from Culloden House to attend the meeting of 
presbytery at Inverness; besides members a large body of 
elders and deacons attended from different congregations, 
town and country. In the end all very cordially agreed to 
work out the association plan. In the evening a large public 
meeting ... I went up, as all others did, to the fall of 
Foyers as the morning was fine — going, seeing, and returning 
to the steamer all within the hour. I will not here, even had 
I time, indulge in the ordinary poetic sentimentalisms about 
cataracts. The whole scenery is certainly very rugged and 
grand. I had no previous adequate idea of the beauty here, 

200 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1852. 

and ruggedness there, and towering grandeur yonder, of the 
scenery along the Caledonian Canal. But the gem in the 
whole was Glengarry House and woody heights, while the 
sublime (next to Ben Nevis) was in the Glengarry hills. I do 
not now wonder that your youthful faucy was fired in these 
regions. I thought, as I passed, that I saw you, in mental 
vision, skipping along these beautiful lawns and banks and 
sloping acclivities — in all the gay and buoyant vigour of 
eighteen. And I trow that among all the gazers on that 
scene of inspiring and exhilarating joy, there would be no one 
more joyously elastic than my own beloved partner. But then, 
probably, this world, with its phantasmagoria of fleeting 
dreams, may have occupied the chief place in her affections ; 
while now, praised be God, the enduring realities of the 
everlasting future in the realms of day, have acquired their 
proper ascendancy; and so the sober pursuits of 49, Minto 
Street, Newington, may be not only more profitable, but in 
reality more prolific of pure joy to the spirit, than the gaysome 
lightsome buxom joyousnesses of Glengarry in the days of 
blooming and elastic girlhood.'" 

Portree, Skye. — " The elite of the whole Free Church 
population of the island were there, from end to end — many 
from fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, and even thirty miles dis- 
tant ; several too of the leading, would-be great men still 
connected with the Establishment; and the moderate minister's 
own wife. It was a great day at Portree and Skye. So it 
was felt, I do believe. The services beginning at about 
eleven did not end till about six. And all that time the great 
bulk of the audience sat still without once moving from their 
seats. Feeling myself in much weakness and not a little 
mental depression, I could scarcely tell from what, I found 
more than ordinary freedom in addressing sinners, and could 
see from the countenances, and the tearful eyes, that impres- 
sions were produced. God grant that they may prove not 
ephemeral impressions on the mere sensibilities of nature, 
but living impressions, inwrought by the power of the Holy 
Ghost. After sermon old Mrs. McDonald came forward to 
embrace me. She had remained purposely for a fortnight to 
witness the opening of the church. Again came back to 
Portree about noon, met the presbytery of Skye; then 
addressed a public meeting in the church, which again was 


thronged. At some of the statements and appeals many were 
weeping — my prayer was that their hearts might bleed. To 
these people such statements and appeals come with all the 
force of novelty ; hence, doubtless, in part, the greatest im- 
pressions produced among them. All seemed to rejoice in the 
Lord ; and the Lord grant in mercy an abundant harvest ! 
After the meeting, who should come forward to hail me, but 
Miss Grant, sister of Dr. J. Grant, of Calcutta. She inquired 
most earnestly for you. As the steamer was to take on board 
some 150 or 160 emigrants for Australia, and a noisy scene 
would be kept up all the night, we went on board our yacht in 
the Portree harbour, to be quiet and get a little sleep. Wake- 
ful as usual, I was up at three, and roused the others, as the 
steamer was to leave exactly at four. 

"At Raasay, Major Darrock, his lady and daughter and sons 
came on board. I had seen them at Greenock. They are 
excellent Christian people. They had been on a visit to 
Mr. Rainy, now proprietor of Raasay, and uncle of Mr. Daniels. 
Mrs. Darrock is a daughter of the late Mr. Parker, of Glasgow, 
one of Dr. Chalmers's greatest friends and supporters, and 
doubtless named in his Memoirs. I remember him well, when 
he came with Dr. Chalmers, as the new Professor of Moral 
Philosophy at St. Andrews, and was present at his installation. 
I spent most of my time on board, in the fore part of the 
vessel, talking to and counselling the poor emigrants. It 
was a sad and sorrowful spectacle. My heart really bled for 
them. Some of them looked so dejected and woe-begone. 
Some kept gazing at their beloved Skye, quite overcome at 
the thought of their never seeing it any more. Some appeared 
to feel most of all at the prospect of being without the means 
of grace in the strange land whither they were going. To 
them all it looked like a plunge into the dark — a leap in a 
vacuum. Uneducated, they knew not what Australia was, 
nor where it was, nor what to believe concerning it. One 
poor woman, who was sobbing and weeping, asked me ' if it 
was not a wild country and full of wild people/ and got no 
little comfort from my assurances to the contrary. She seemed 
to be wholly relieved on that head, when I informed her that 
I had myself been upwards of twenty years in a wilder 
country and among a wilder people, as I had been among down- 
right heathen, whereas the would be among her own country- 

202 LIFE OF DE. DUFF. 1852. 

women, who were at least nominally Christian. At Broad- 
ford a fresh batch of emigrants were taken in. One of the 
boatmen was an awful specimen of profanity — cursing and 
swearing most vociferously. I have not for many a day — and 
never in the Highlands — heard anything like it. I went 
forward and looked gravely at him, speaking a gentle word of 
admonition. For a moment he was startled and arrested. 
But speedily he recovered himself, and said, ' You pray too 
much — you pray too much/ and commenced his cursing and 
swearing anew. I could only leave him, commending him to 
the mercy of that gracious God whose long-suffering patience 
he was so fearfully abusing. 

" Beaching Loch Alsh, and bidding good-bye to all kind 
friends, I got into the boat in which Miss Lewis, of Edinburgh, 
and others had come on shore. When at Lochcarron I had 
received an invitation from Mrs. Lillingstone, widow of the 
late Mr. Lillingstone, proprietor of all this region and a man 
of extraordinary benevolence, who gave away at least three- 
fourths of his large income in acts of philanthropy. He also 
has large property in England. From what causes I cannot 
well explain, but this Highland property was some time ago 
sold to Mr. A. Matheson, but Mrs. Lillingstone remains in the 
mansion house. About eight I was there, and received with 
great cordiality. Mr. and Mrs. Matheson, and Miss Palmer, 
and other guests are here. I am to have a meeting here this 
evening, and to-morrow another somewhere in this quarter. 

" Portree (in Gaelic, ' King's Harbour/ as there James V. 
stopped in his northern expedition against rebellious chieftains), 
is a striking land-locked haven, with its lofty precipitous 
headlands all around, and Raasay, with its peculiar dome- 
surmounted hill in front. Baasay House, with its lawns and 
woods, takes one utterly by surprise, after traversing the 
dreary solitude to the west. Balmacura combines the softly 
beautiful and the sublimely grand in scenery." 

Huntly Lodge, 13th October. — "A most delightful meeting 
yesterday with the presbytery of Strathbogie ; and in the 
evening a grand public meeting. One of the presbytery elders, 
Mr. Stronach, a gentleman, of property, who, as magistrate, 
was called in to quell the disturbance at the ever-memorable 
Marnock settlement, publicly declared that it was what dropped 
from me, on my visit to this place, seventeen years ago, which 


first gave him the impulse towards missions, an impulse 
which has sustained him ever since. Singular what drops 
of consolation now and then are afforded from on high. In 
coming from Perth, on the top of the coach, was the minister 
of Cromarty. He told me that a member (a female) of his 
congregation had been awakened to serious concern for her 
own soul by my address at Cromarty and that she was a 
changed character ever since. The Lord be praised ! " 

Kincardine O'Neil, November 24th. — " Before leaving 
Rhynie this morning I wrote a short note to W. It was 
piercingly cold. A keen hard frost, with a cloudless sky, and 
icy wind. Since I left the pulpit on Sunday I have scarcely 
yet got into anything like warmth, either by night or by day. 
I have felt as if the cold were oozing through my whole body, 
from head to foot. Down in this region of Deeside it seems 
to be somewhat milder. But what with unseasoned rooms, 
and unseasoned beds, and frosty air, and chills after full meet- 
ings, I feel as if it were a sort of living martyrdom to be 
encountering all this, with concomitant and subsequent physical 
miseries — freezing, too, the flow of one's thoughts, and petrify- 
ing the genial feelings. But most gladly would I bear all, and 
a great deal more, if possible, for the sake of Him who so 
loved us as to lay down His very life for us, were I to behold 
substantial fruit to His praise and glory. I must, however, 
leave all to Him. Outwardly there is much of seeming coun- 
tenance given. What I lack is, real fruit — deeds of faith, 
alike in doing and giving, in connection with the Redeemer's 
cause. My own shortcomings are ever before me, and the 
picture of them present to the mind increasingly painful. 
Nought sustains me but the Divine assurance that ' the blood 
of Christ cleanseth from all sin/ Blessed Saviour ! who 
would not then cheerfully toil and suffer for Thee ! Oh Thou, 
Whose locks were so often wet with the dews of night when 
praying on the mountain solitudes of Judeea for a sin-laden 
world ; and Who, for it, didst endure the agony and the 
bloody sweat ! But, that world shall yet be Thine; and in it 
shalfc Thou yet be gloriously exalted ! Oh to be the humblest 
servant in Thy royal train and retinue ! " 

Banchory-Ternan, November 2bth. — " In crossing from 
Alford I had a magnificent view of the massive and lofty 
mountain of Lochnagar — reminded thereby of the unhappy 

204 LIFE 0F DR - DUFF. 1852. 

Byron. Had a very delightful meeting with the presbytery 
of Kincardine O'Neil; and to-night, with the congregation 
here. I have still an oppressive cold on my chest — nostrils 
running without ceasing, with cough. In my bedroom shut 
up all day, till I went out to the meeting at six. Unable to 
speak very loud; but the people were so still and attentive, 
that a whisper was almost heard by them. I am more than 
ever convinced that if I could only visit all the congregations 
in person, associations would at once be organized in every one 
of them. This was once the parish of the celebrated Principal 
Campbell, who wrote the famous essay on Miracles in answer 
to Hume. The ruins of his manse are still here. The whole 
of Deeside was wont to be a regular preserve of the Moderates. 
It is cancered all over with Moderatism still. Oh, for a life- 
breath from heaven to stir up the dead ! 

" To-morrow I expect to go by coach to Aberdeen, distant 
eighteen miles; and thence to Mr. Thomson's, of Banchory 
House, brother-in-law of the Misses Fraser, who did so much 
for our new library." 

Banchory House, December 6th. — " The loving-kindness of 
the Lord in directing me hither has been unspeakable ; and I 
do desire to cherish a deeper sense of gratitude towards Him, 
who is the Author of all these mercies. I have been terribly 
beset by all sorts of applications from all sorts of persons and 
societies for all sorts of objects. From the shortness of my 
sojourn, it has been utterly impossible for me to attend to the 
great bulk of them. But as a specimen of the way in which I 
am sometimes captured, in spite of every effort to escape, I 
shall briefly narrate the facts of a case. 

" Some weeks ago I received a letter asking me to preach a 
sermon on behalf of a school established in a very destitute 
locality for the children of a colony of poor fishermen. I wrote 
to say that, with so many other engagements before me, which 
must be compressed within so short a time, I could not honestly, 
commit or pledge myself in any way to preach such a sermon ; 
but that if, after coming to Aberdeen, I found my strength 
equal to it, I had all the heart to respond to such a call. Well, 
when I saw last week that I was to be busied every day, I 
said that I could not engage to preach the sermon until I saw, 
by the end of the week, how I bore up under such accumulated 
labour. As the sermon was to be (if at all) on Sabbath even- 


ing, it would be time enough to announce it at the preceding 
services of the day. The public meeting of Thursday, attended, 
they say, by at least 2,000 jammed into an immense edifice, 
well-nigh felled me. Still I had to go out to Skene, twelve 
miles distant, to hold a public meeting there on Friday evening. 
Beturning to town on Saturday, I addressed a large body of 
the students of all the colleges, at 2 p.m. After all this I felt 
so gone, that I wrote to Mr. Spence to say, that it seemed to 
me physically impossible to preach on Sabbath evening in his 
church, which holds 1,500 people; seeing that I had under- 
taken a double service (that is, a sermon and missionary 
address) in the Free Church here (Banchory) in the early part 
of the day. 

u Judge then of my surprise, when about nine o'clock at 
night I received an urgent note to the effect, that a sermon 
from me had actually been advertised in two of the Aberdeen 
papers, that there was no possibility now of countermanding 
said advertisements, that numbers from other congregations, 
in consequence of said advertisements, would assemble, etc. 
Well, I instantly replied, that whoever inserted such adver- 
tisements without my knowledge or permission, yea, quite 
contrary to the understanding between Mr. Spence and myself, 
had perpetrated a fraud and moral wrong ; and that I could 
not in any way be responsible for a failure or disappointment, 
seeing that I was no party, directly or indirectly, to the 
measure which occasioned it — adding that, unless I got 
greatly better than I was that evening, it would be impossible 
for me to preach the sermon after two services at Banchory. 
On Saturday night I had a better rest than ordinary, and so 
felt greatly relieved on Sabbath morning. I then reflected on 
the awkward position of parties; of the assembling of numbers, 
and no sermon ; of the talk and gossip to which this would 
lead; of the necessity of my publicly explaining the fraud 
which had been perpetrated upon me, in the way of self- 
vindication, and in proof that the fault was not mine; of the 
handle which might thus be furnished to the enemies of our 
Church and the scandal which might thereby accrue even 
to the cause of Christ; and in the end concluded, that I 
had better throw myself on the grace and protection of a 
loving Father, who knoweth our frame and remembereth that 
we are but dust. Then, early yesterday (Sabbath) I despatched 

206 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

a special message to Mr. Spence, to say, that though under no 
moral obligation in the matter, but rather the contrary, after 
such fraudulent usage, I would for the sake of preventing 
scandal, and therefore for the sake of Christ's cause, endeavour 
to do what I could in the evening. 

(l So, our services here occupying from twelve to three, I 
hurried to my present home, changed, had some refreshment, 
and off at five to Mr. Spence's. On getting there, the 
front door could not be approached ; the church was full and 
crowds still lingering outside. Round we went to a back lane, 
whence was a private way to the vestry. But it too had been 
taken possession of. And after struggling on half way, I fairly 
stuck and could not move ; nor could any one, however willing, 
all were so closely jammed together. It then occurred, to cry 
out to the officer within the vestry to open the door and let a 
number in, so as to allow of my getting forward. This suc- 
ceeded. In a moment the vestry was filled ; but I got in on 
the top of the tidal wave. Happily the pulpit was near the 
vestry, so I got into it at last, though not without difficulty, as 
the stairs were crammed. Through the service I got in a way 
which I could never have anticipated. Verily the Lord is a 
covenant-keeping God. Never was I more conscious of a real 
direct answer to prayer. Penetrated with a sense of weakness 
in every sense, 1 did throw myself absolutely upon the Lord for 
help and strength. And surely He did uphold me. From the 
earnestness of attention manifested it appeared that the truth 
was telling. The Lord seal it home ! 

" This morning my kind host and hostess had the whole of 
our Divinity students out to breakfast; I talked with them 
till twelve." 

Ayr, hth February, 1853. — " I was more than delighted witli 
my visit to Kilmarnock. Mr. and Mrs. Main are really 
excellent people. And there was quite an outburst of enthu- 
siasm through all the congregations in favour of my associa- 
tion plan. I have not yet met anywhere anything so thorough 
and full-hearted. It was all the more remarkable, inasmuch 
as several of the ministers in the presbytery spoke stoutly 
against it — not the minister of Kilmarnock. They, however, 
overshot the mark ; and by the adverse arguments they em- 
ployed — so low, so carnal, so selfish, so grovelling, so earthy — * 
they only stirred up the bett«r-iniuded among the other 


ministers, and elders, and deacons, and people, to come forth, 
in my favour, far more zealously and enthusiastically than 
they otherwise would have done. Praised be the overruling 
providence of a gracious God." 

Wigtown, 10th February. — "Our meetings at Stranraer 
were very pleasant. When I was there fifteen years ago there 
was only one evangelical minister in the presbytery, who is now 
in the Free Church — Mr. Urquhart, of Port Patrick — with 
one evangelical assistant, Mr. Bell, of Leswalt, Lady Agnew's 
son-in-law. At that time a presbyterial association was 
formed, of which Mr. Urquhart was secretary. And he told 
us the other day, that except himself and another, not one 
acted it out. Papers and circulars were sent to the ministers, 
but they cast them aside or destroyed them. When the time 
agreed upon had come round for receiving the secretary's 
report, the presbytery asked him politely to postpone it till 
towards the close of the meeting, when the press of business 
would be over. When the close approached he stood up 
to give his report, and instantly one and all of the ministers 
rose, and politely bowing to him, took their hats, and left him 
alone ! There was a fine exhibition of genuine Moderatism ! 

" At that time the Establishment had no church in Stranraer, 
and our public meeting was held in the Cameronian Church, 
Dr. Symington's. I was told the other day, what I had then 
forgotten, that in my address I spoke very strongly about 
the want of a church and the bickerings and divisions 
which led to it — asking, ' What ! had the curse of God 
lighted on the place, that He should not have a house for the 
honour of His name there ? ' This appeal was taken in good 
part, and stirred up some present, so that the result was, the 
getting up of a quoad sacra church. Others at th'e meeting 
of presbytery remarked that impressions were then produced 
in many minds, which survived in their effects to this hour — ■ 
that souls had been quickened. One venerable elder, who 
was an elder formerly in the Cameronian Church but is 
now one in the Free, said that he was present at the meeting 
eighteen years ago — that things were then said which made 
him and others weep — but that he did not observe a single 
tear in the eyes of the moderate ministers. And when I had 
done, his exclamation to those around him was, ' Where got 
the Establishment that man ? ' In the midst of many cold- 

208 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

nesses and rebuffs on the part of many, it is cheering to one's 
own soul to find that the Lord has been graciously pleased, in 
so many places, to honour one's message in dropping some 
seeds of life for the souls of others. 

Glencairn, 21st November. — "We had scarcely started from 
the Thornhill station in an open gig, when it began to rain. 
Soon the wind rose and it continued to blow fiercer and 
fiercer, with occasional gusts of extreme violence, while the 
rain fell heavier and heavier — all direct in our faces, all the 
way, for nine long miles, over an undulating hilly country ! 
My poor throat, which you remember showed signs of weakness 
on Friday night, by the windy drench of Saturday has been 
made worse than it has been since last spring. But it is all 
well ordered. Yesterday I preached twice, though with ex- 
treme difficulty to myself. Happily the church, being one of 
the low-roofed kind, though crowded with seven or eight 
hundred people, did not require such loud speaking as many 
do. This morning, a clear hard frost ; but by eleven the 
mist suddenly descended, and has put an end to our in- 
tended drive to Glendarrock, and other famous martyr scenes. 
Indeed, all the way on Saturday, when sorely pelted with 
wind and rain, my thoughts were intensely directed to 
Ren wick and his shelterless wanderings. How often was he 
exposed to windy storm and tempest — drenched with wet, 
shivering with cold, famished with hunger, with no covert at 
the end of exhausting journeys but the dripping cave in the 
rock, and no pillow or bedding but the stony or damp muddy 
floor! Compared with his sufferings for the sake of the 
truth, what have been all the trials and exposures to which 
any of us, in these days, have been subjected ! My soul, 
therefore,' instead of being cast down, was rather uplifted 
in gratitude to God for His unspeakable loving-kindnesses 
towards me and mine. Oh, how apt we are to murmur, when 
at any time deprived of any little comforts to which we may 
have been accustomed ! Why not always reckon that our 
mercies, whatever these may be, are infinitely beyond what 
we deserve ? " 

Kilmarnock", 2hth Nov. — "I long to hear how you are all 
getting on in your new quarters. Certainly any sort of settled 
home, almost, is better than the life I have had of it in such 
tempestuous weather during this week, with so many meetings 


to attend alike in private and in public. But Laving a work to 
accomplish, I am bent on overtaking it, looking to Him who 
rides on the wings of the wind, for protection and support. 
Yesterday continued tempestuous ; the public meeting was at 
half-past six; and what between the commixtion of terrene 
elements underneath, and of liquid elements overhead, and a 
superincumbent darkness like that of Egypt, it was no easy 
matter to work our way into the church. On arriving there 
I was astonished to see so large an audience on such a night 
of darkness and of storms. I hailed it as a token for good ; 
and though in much weakness bodily, felt greatly cheered 
in spirit. There is a latent leaven, a deposit from covenanting 
times, in that region still, which is beginning to show some 
signs of incipient fermentation. It was to the cross of San- 
quhar that Cameron affixed his famous Declaration, and sub- 
sequently Renwick affixed his — the Declarations adhesion to, 
or repudiation of which, was the judicial test for convicting 
or acquitting the Covenanters of the alleged crime of dis- 
loyalty or high treason. The cross itself was taken down 
a good many years ago, in improving the burgh. The top 
stone of it was taken possession of by one of the workmen, 
in whose house it was used as a stool for the children at the 
ingle-side. This being known, some of the Free Churchmen 
obtained it for a consideration ; and now it is set over the 
porch of the Free Church, as if to symbolize to the eyes of 
sense the fact that the Free Church is the body which has 
taken up and perpetuated the principles for which the heroes 
of the Covenant suffered and died ! Of the doings and suffer- 
ings of these men, of whom the world was not worthy, the 
whole neighbourhood abounds with traditions handed down 
from sire to son. Sanquhar lies about the centre of the coun- 
ties of Lanark and Dumfries, Galloway and Ayr, in the moun- 
tain wildernesses and remote solitudes of which the storm of 
persecution chiefly raged, as it was among the almost endless 
and labyrinthine moors and mosses, glens and ravines, thickets 
and forests, caves and dens of these upland wilds, that the 
fugitives from a savage persecution sought refuge. This led 
to the celebrated saying of Renwick, that 'the moors and 
mosses of the west of Scotland were flowered with martyrs, 
and that if God would be confined to a place, it would be these 
wildernesses/ The vivid recalling of all these scenes greatly 

2 10 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

affected my own spirit, and seemed to vibrate through every 
fibre of my being, imparting a peculiar hue to my thoughts, 
and intonation to my words in utterance. 

Stewarton, 28th November. — "Friday evening was most tem- 
pestuous at Loudoun, and the night seemed the very black- 
ness of darkness. The modern village is called Newmilns, 
the old one having been removed to clear and enlarge the 
parks of Loudoun Castle. It contains about 2,500 — mostly 
weavers, and nearly half of them avowed infidels and 
notorious drunkards ! It is really awful to hear of such a 
state of things anywhere in Scotland. Once on a time the 
people of Loudoun were religious — fought bravely for the 
Covenant ; while the earl was foremost in the good cause, 
his name being attached to the Covenant. But a succession 
of moderate ministers sucked the very life-blood out of the 
people ; and in two or three generations, the descendants of 
godly ancestors lapsed into the brutalities of heathenism. 
Mr. Noble, our minister, who is married to a Ross-shire lady, is 
a truly good man, and is, thank God, succeeding in making an 
impression on the mass. On Friday evening, I was amazed to 
see so many turn out — mostly men too ! — with the pale, lank 
countenances of the loom and its confined atmosphere. More 
intense attention there could not be. 

"Dr. Laurie's (of Madras) father and grandfather were minis- 
ters of Loudoun — both Moderates. By the way, did I ever tell 
you the tragic story he related to me about the last Earl of 
Loudoun, father of the last Countess of Loudoun who became 
Marchioness of Hastings, and virtual queen of India for some 
years. When Laurie's grandfather was minister, the earl at- 
tended in church on the sabbath-day as usual. At the close of 
the service, he asked (what he never did before) the minister to 
accompany him to dine at the castle. This the minister stoutly 
refused to do, as he had made a rule of never dining out on the 
sabbath. The earl importuned, the minister still declined. At 
last the earl said, l At any rate you'll not refuse a drive to the 
manse ? ' The road to the castle happening to pass close to the 
manse, this the minister could not well decline. So they drove 
on. As they approached the manse the minister reminded the 
earl, that he might ask the coachman to stop. But instead of 
this, he urged the coachman to quicken the horses' pace towards 
the castle. The minister being thus carried thither, in spite of 

JEt 47. A TRAGEDY. 2 I I 

himself, thought it as well to stay to dinner, as the earl was 
alone. By one means and another the earl contrived to keep 
him all night at the castle. At dawn the minister was up and 
out, and on his way down the lawn, when he heard the report 
of a gun from the castle. He turned back, saw the servants 
in commotion; hastened where he saw them rushing, and soon 
was in the earl's bedroom, on the floor of which he lay welter- 
ing in his blood — and soon died — a suicide ! Then, from a 
document on his table, it was found that he committed his 
only child, then an infant of about five years of age, to the sole 
care and guardianship of Laurie, the minister ! This was the 
after Marchioness of Hastings ! And the unhappy father had 
evidently wished that the minister should be in the castle at 
the time of the tragic event, that he might be more affected 
and drawn towards the fatherless child ! Of course Laurie did 
his best to discharge a trust so extraordinarily committed to 
him. What is title, what is fortune, what is noble descent, 
if the spirit of wisdom and of grace and of a sound mind be 
wanting ! Let us thank God, and learn, in whatever state we 
are, therewith to be content. 

Kilmarnock, hth December. — " We had a large meeting in 
the spacious kitchen of Perceton House on Saturday evening, 
when the missionary boxes of Sabbath school children were 
opened and I addressed old and young on the subject of Mis- 
sions. Being crowded, it was very stirring and interesting. Real 
good was done, and that always is a recompense to me for any 
extra labour or fatigue. The exercises were very refreshing ; 
Main's sermon admirable. I partook of the communion with 
great joy, and in the evening preached to a huge and dense 
multitude. The church being much heated I came home 
dripping. Throughout the night, being very restless and half 
awake, the enemy took advantage of my physical weakness to 
tempt me with wretched thoughts and horrid dreams ! How 
I longed for the morning ! My prayer was to Him who said, 
1 Get thee behind Me, Satan/ and I rose unref reshed in body, 
and cast down and disquieted in mind. This forenoon Mr. 
McFarlane of Monckton, son of the late Dr. McFarlane of 
Greenock, preached on John's Gospel vi. 16-21, and made 
many remarks singularly applicable to my state of mind. I 
felt it to be an answer to prayer; and sinking as I felt my- 
self in the deep waters, I seemed to hear the voice of the 

212 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

Kedeemer, l Fear not, it is 1/ and the l Oh ye of little faith ' 
from those gracious lips at once reproved and uplifted me. 
Praise be to His holy name ! At half-past two I met the 
body of collectors connected with the three congregations, 
and addressed them with much comfort for an hour. A goodly 
number of friends are to be here to dinner at four ; and this 
evening I return to Perceton, and to-morrow meet the Ayr 
\ presbytery. I am dunned and pestered beyond measure with 
applications to speechify, preach, etc., for all sorts of things 
under the sun. Besides those forwarded by you I received 
many more directly. "Really, it consumes the languishing 
remnant of my life blood to be answering these, as I must do, 
for the most part in the negative. 

Ayr, 9th December. — " We have had great doings here. The 
people are all in a blaze, alike about home and foreign objects. 
They were in a very sleepy state. But the Lord has given me 
astonishing freedom of speech amongst them. And it has 
evidently been blessed. To me, personally, it is very exhaust- 
ing. But I grudge nothing when I see good fruit. Last night 
the public meeting, which began at seven, did not break up till 
eleven o'clock ! I have yet a good deal of work before me. 
To-day I return to Perceton, on my way to the higher parts 
of Ayrshire — Catrine, Old Cumnock, etc. 

" After I wrote to you from Kilmarnock I half repented of 
having done so. But the truth is, that it is some relief to the 
mind to get itself disburdened. And to whom can I disburden 
it, if not to you — the partner of my joys and sorrows for nearly 
a quarter of a century? No one can ever fully know how 
much I often suffer, both in mind and body, in the midst of 
these frequent, prolonged, and violent exertions. And to none 
but yourself can I ever moot the subject except in the vaguest 
and most general terms. In the excitement of speaking, the 
spirit forgets the fragility of the body; and therefore, people 
think me strong. Ah, if they could see me in my solitary 
chamber, all alone, after such meetings as last night, their 
congratulations on my supposed strength would be ex- 
changed for downright commiseration. The whole frame 
feverish — the whole nervous system, from the brain down- 
wards, in a state of total unrest. The very tendency to sleep 
gone. Going to bed, as this morning, at half-past one, not 
from sleepiness but from inability to sit up longer through 


exhaustion. Turning and tossing from side to side, and long- 
ing for sleep. Then drowsiness, and half-sleep, and horrid 
dreams, and longing for the morning's dawn. Getting up 
disquieted and unrefresked, to meet a company at breakfast — 
with aching head besides, and sorish throat. Necessity for 
appearing as pleasant as may be, so as not to damp or dis- 
courage others ; and every effort in this way only increasing 
the pain. But enough ; I must say no more on such a subject. 
Yet, the Lord be praised ! in the midst of all this I have 
gleams and intervals of real spiritual enjoyment. Indeed, 
when most weak and pained, often is that enjoyment propor- 
tionally increased. And then, the favour which the Lord 
shows me in the sight of His people, and the good so often 
unexpectedly achieved — all this makes me feel that what I 
suffer is the discipline of a Father's rod to keep me humble in 
walking before Him. 

" I am alarmed at what you say about the statements in the 
American paper. Such things often exceedingly vex and 
annoy me. It is all well enough to thank God for any instru- 
ments He may raise up. It is quite another matter to speak 
or write of them in exaggerated terms amounting to flattery, 
and so far, to a disparagement of the great Giver. At public 
meetings I have usually got quit of such things by com- 
mencing at once my address when the prayer ends. But 
sometimes (not often) the minister praying has taken it into 
his head formally to introduce me to the audience; and then 
to speak of me in a way that has disturbed and discomposed 
my spirit. In such cases I am always conscious of not getting 
on half as well as when I am allowed to begin without a word 
being said about me." 

All over Scotland and in many a manse there are 
still grateful memories of these tours. Among others 
the Rev. T. Main, then of Kilmarnock and now of 
Free St. Mary's, Edinburgh, and convener of the Foreign 
Missions Committee, thus recalls the time : 

" The weeks during which it was our privilege to 
have Dr. Duff under our roof formed a happy time. 
He grew in our affection and admiration. To sympa- 
thise with him in his work went straight to his heart. 

214 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

He lived a most laborious life. His days were spent 
in his room in writing papers and conducting corres- 
pondence. At this time he was busily engaged in 
matters connected with the Indian Despatch of 1854, 
which entailed on him a great amount of toil. He 
kindly gave his evenings to us, pouring forth an amaz- 
ing wealth of information. In doing so he was un- 
consciously revealing a most capacious memory, an 
observant eye and a loving heart. One of the chief 
difficulties that stood in the way of the formation of 
Associations, was the burden of pecuniary reponsibility 
that rested on most if not all of the congregations. 
Dr. Duff felt its force, and set himself with self-denying 
devotedness to render assistance in helping to clear it 
out of the way. I have never seen any one so singu- 
larly sensitive as he. The effect was immediate. A 
want of sympathy repelled him, the reverse attached 
and drew him oat. This was not the result of self- 
consciousness from the consideration of the position 
he occupied and what was due to himself ; it was an 
instinct of his moral nature. It was not he, but Christ 
that throbbed within him, his whole frame vibrating 
with the very sympathies of Christ. It must have 
been to him no ordinary trial, with his exalted sense of 
the magnitude of the enterprise, its close connection 
with the glory of Immanuel and the salvation of the 
myriads of lost sinners, to be brought into contact 
with the chilling atmosphere that prevailed around, 
and the grievously defective estimate of its surpassing 

"His meeting with the Ayr presbytery did not realize 
his expectations, for while the brethren received him 
with the utmost possible respect, they did not see 
their way to adopt his plan of a quarterly contribution. 
He returned so sunk ia spirit, that although we had 
a large party to meet him at dinner he scarcely opened 


his lips. On the way to the evening meeting Mrs. 
Main assured him that all would come right, that he 
would have a large and enthusiastic gathering. The 
church was crowded ; the spectacle inspired him, and 
he poured forth one of his most fervid and impassioned 
appeals. One of my deacons who sat beside me said, 
' Did you ever hear anything like that ? it is like Paul 
pleading for the heathen world.' As I had not con- 
sulted with my office-bearers, I had no intention of 
forming a Foreign Mission Association that evening, 
but as Dr. Duff went on I felt that it would be to 
lose a most precious opportunity if I failed to do so. 
As Dr. Duff pronounced the benediction I ascended 
the pulpit, and summoned those of them who were 
members to remain behind for the purpose of forming 
an association. We met in larg^e numbers. The ut- 
most enthusiasm prevailed, with the result of trebling 
the contributions from the congregation. As we 
walked home Dr. Duff was like another man, his heart 
was filled with joy and his tongue with melody. 

" The exhaustion of such a long day's work was very 
great, but instead of retiring to rest he was accustomed 
to sit in his room till sleep overtook him, otherwise 
he would have spent a feverish and sleepless night. 
Although it was not till three in the morning that he 
lay down, he appeared at breakfast as fresh and cheer- 
ful as possible. 

" A little incident occurred that evening which very 
deeply affected him. One of my people in humble life 
made her way to the vestry and asked me to secure 
for her the privilege of shaking hands with Dr. Duff. 
I gladly did so. Her heart was full, and she gave brief 
but expressive utterance to her feelings. On parting 
she left a sovereign in his hand for the cause. When 
I told him how scanty and precarious her subsistence 
was, it awakened within him a thrill of deep emotion. 

2l6 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853, 

He often referred to it as an illustration of the great- 
ness of the sacrifices made by the poorest of the people 
for the cause of Christ." 

So ends 1853, and the campaign. But, as if these 
toils were not enough for soul and body, continued for 
the four years which followed on the South and North 
India tours of 1849, the unwearied apostle of India 
was busy at the same time in seeking and sending out 
new missionaries, like Mr. and Mrs. Fordyce, and 
Messrs. T. Gardiner and Pourie, to Calcutta ; in lec- 
turing to the Young Men's Christian Association in 
Exeter Hall, side by side with R. Bickersteth, S to well, 
Baptist Noel, James Hamilton, Brock, Arthur and 
Candlish; in undergoing frequent and long examina- 
tions before the India Committee of the House of 
Lords ; in helping the British and Foreign Bible 
Society to conduct its Jubilee in 1853, and raise a 
Jubilee fund ; and, finally, in discharging the onerous 
duties of Moderator of the Free Church General As- 
sembly. His Exeter Hall lecture on " India and its 
Evangelization "is an illustration of the skill with 
which he adapted himself to such an audience as the 
young men of London. After eighty pages of a suc- 
cession of pictures of travel, expositions of the hoary 
creeds and rituals of the East, descriptions of the ad- 
ministration of the British Government and state- 
ments of the power and progress of Christianity, he 
burst forth into this peroration : 

" Strive to realize the height and grandeur of your 
obligation to the millions of India's poor, cowering, 
abject children ; millions laid helplessly prostrate at 
our feet by a series of conquests the most strange and 
unparalleled in the annals of all time ; millions once 
torn asunder by relentless feuds and implacable hatreds, 
now bound together, and bound to us, by allegiance 
to a common Government, submission to common laws, 


and the participation of common interests ! Here is a 
career of benevolence opened up unto you, worthy of 
your noblest ambition and most energetic enterprise. 
Shrink not from it on the ground of its magnitude or 
difficulties. In contests of an earthly kind confidence 
in a great leader, with the heart-stirring traditions of 
ancestral daring and prowess, have heretofore kindled 
shrinking cowardice into the fire of an indomitable 
valour. When, about half a century ago, our gallant 
but vain -glorious neighbours boastfully pointed to 
' the rout of all the armies and the capture of almost 
all the capitals in Europe,' as a proof of the invinci- 
bility of their own arms, and the utter hopelessness of 
any further resistance or defence, the historian of 
Europe tells us that their old rivals, the English — at 
first well-nigh paralysed by the halo of uninterrupted 
success that surrounded their foes — began to revive 
when they beheld ' the lustre of former renown shining 
forth, however dimly, amid the blaze of present vic- 
tory.' When the names of Cressy and Agincourt and 
Blenheim came up before them in freshest remem- 
brance, they could calmly point to c the imperishable 
inheritance of national glory ; ' their soldiers, their 
citizens, were alike penetrated with these recollections ; 
the exploits of the Edwards and the Henrys and the 
Marlboroughs of former times, ' burned in the hearts 
of the officers and animated the spirit of the people.' 
Hence, the nation at length rose as one man to repel 
the danger of Napoleon's threatened invasion ; and 
hence, speedily, the addition of Salamanca and Yit- 
toria, Hugomont and Waterloo, to the long register 
of England's military renown; and of the name of 
Wellington as the greatest in the bright roll of her 

" But England has had other battles, and other 
warriors, and other exemplars, nobler still, — nobler 

2l8 LIFE OF DE. DUFF. 1853. 

still in tlio eye of Heaven and the annals of eternity, 
however humble and unworthy in the eye of carnal 
sense and the records of short-lived time. And it is 
to these that you are now to look, when invited to 
enter on a nobler warfare — a warfare not physical or 
material, but moral and spiritual ; a warfare not with 
humanity itself, but with the evils that plague and 
exulcerate it ; a warfare not with men's persons, but 
with their ignorance, their follies, their errors, their 
superstitions, their idolatries, and their deadly sins ; a 
warfare with the springs and causes of all other war- 
fare ; a warfare whose ends and issues will be, the ex- 
termination of these springs and causes with their fatal 
consequences; a warfare not for the destruction of any, 
but for the regeneration of the whole race of man ; 
a warfare one of whose richest trophies will consist 
in men's beating their swords into ploughshares and 
their spears into pruning-hooks, in nation's not lifting 
up sword against nation, neither learning the art of war 
any more ! And if, in entering on a warfare so high, so 
holy, so heavenly, and yet so arduous, a warfare with 
legions of foes, that have stood their ground for thou- 
sands of years, won a thousand victories, entrenched 
themselves behind a thousand battlements, and reared 
their standard on a thousand fortresses that frown 
defiance over the nations ; if, in entering on a warfare 
so terrible, ye are apt to be dispirited and cast down, 
lift up your eyes, and fix your gaze on the lustre of 
former renown. In this highest and noblest depart- 
ment of human warfare, ye may, with rapt emotions, 
point to another c imperishable inheritance of national 
glory.' Ye may point to the illustrious company of 
England's sages and worthies, the noble army of her 
martyrs, and the ten thousand scenes that have been 
consecrated by their testimony and their blood. Ye 
may point to Wycliffe, the morning star of the Refor- 

Mt. 47. A CLOUD 0E WITNESSES. 219 

mation, whose aslies, as noted by the historian, in the 
execution of an empty insult, were exhumed and 
thrown into a neighbouring brook — c the brook con- 
veying them into Avon, Avon into Severn, Severn into 
the narrow seas, and these into the main ocean ; thus 
converting the ashes into an emblem of the Reformer's 
doctrine, which is now dispersed all over the world.' 
Ye may point to Cranmer, and Ridley, and Latimer, 
at whose stakes were lighted a fire, which, according 
to their own prophetic utterance, by God's grace, * will 
never be put out in England.' Ye may point to the 
Miltons and the Bunyans, the sages and the seers of 
the Commonwealth and Restoration . Ye may point 
to the Howards and Wilberforces, who irradiated the 
dungeon's gloom, and struck his galling fetters from 
the crouching slave. Ye may point to the Martyns 
and the Careys, the Williams and the Morrisons, who, 
spurning the easier task of guarding the citadel at 
home, jeoparded their lives in the high places of the 
field, when boldly pushing the conquests of the cross 
over the marshalled hosts of heathendom. And, when 
ye point to all of these and ten thousand more, tell 
me if their undying achievements do not burn in your 
hearts and animate your spirits, and incite your whole 
soul, with inextinguishable ardour, to deeds of similar 
daring and of deathless fame ? Or, — oh, mournful 
alternative ! is the spirit, the redoubted spirit, of Wy- 
cliffe now gone from amongst us ? Is the light of 
Cranmer, and Latimer, and Ridley, now beginning to 
be shrouded in darkness ? Is the seraphic fire of Mil- 
ton and of Bunyan for ever extinguished ? Has the 
mantle of Howard and of Wilberforce dropped to the 
earth, and found no one able, or willing, or worthy, to 
take it up ? Is there no soul of Martyn, or Carey, or 
Morrison left behind ? or is their unquenchable zeal 
buried with their mouldering ashes in the sepulchre ? 

220 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. !853. 

And when the distant wail of the perishing in other 
lands, deadened in its passage by ocean's waves to the 
ears of sense, sounds piercingly in the ear of faith, 
where is the successor of the martyr of Eramanga ? — 
is echo still left to answer, Where ? — and again mourn- 
fully to reduplicate, Where ? Forbid it, gracious 
Heaven ! Arise then, ye Christian young men of Eng- 
land, and vindicate at once the reality and purity of 
your descent from the sages, the prophets, the wor- 
thies, and the martyrs of this favoured Patmos isle, by 
buckling on their armour, nerving yourselves with the 
energy of their faith and self-sacrifice ; marching like 
them, when duty calls, into the battle-field, and burn- 
ing for the posts of danger where these foremost 
warriors fell ! In the hour and crisis of England's 
peril, the greatest of her naval captains hoisted the 
watchword of death or victory, in words familiar but 
immortal, — * England expects every man to do his 
duty.' In this the hour and crisis, not of England's 
peril merely, but of the world's agony and travail, well 
may we raise the standard, emblazoned with the watch- 
word, s The Church of Christ — Christ Himself, the 
great Head of the Church — expects every man, every 
professing member and disciple, to do his duty.' 

"Arise then, ye Christian young men of England, 
and, under the banner of the great Captain of salva- 
tion, rally your scattered forces ! Resolve, as if ye 
sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, that ye 
shall re-exhibit to an admiring world the deeds of 
bygone heroism and renown. With such a Divine 
leader to guide you, such ennobling examples to in- 
spirit you, and such a brilliant cloud of witnesses 
encompassing you all around — the final conquest is 
certain, the victory sure. Arise then, ye Christian 
young men of England, and through you let the 
terrors of fire and sword, the faggot and the stake, 

^Et. 47. great Britain's duty to christ and india. 221 

be warded off from these peaceful shores — the asylum 
of the persecuted of all lands — the Thermopylae of 
the old world's endangered liberties ! Through you, 
let the store-houses of British beneficence be opened 
for the needy at home and the famishing abroad. 
Through you, let Britain discharge her debt of grati- 
tude and love to the ascending Saviour, her debt of 
sympathy and goodwill to all nations. More espe- 
cially, through you, let her discharge her debt of 
justice, not less than benevolence, to India, in repara- 
tion of the wrongs, numberless and aggravated, inflicted 
in former times on India's unhappy children. In 
exchange for the pearls from her coral strand, be it 
yours to send the Pearl of great price. In exchange 
for the treasures of her diamond and golden mines, be 
it yours to send the imperishable treasures of Divine 
grace. In exchange for her aromatic fruits and gums, 
be it yours to send buds and blossoms of the Rose of 
Sharon, with its celestial fragrancy. In exchange for 
the commodities and dainties that luxuriate the carnal 
taste, be it yours to send the heavenly manna, and the 
water of life, clear as crystal, to regale and satisfy the 
new-created spiritual appetency. And desist not from 
the great emprise, until the dawning of the hallowed 
morn when all India shall be the Lord's ; — when the 
varied products of that gorgeous land shall become 
visible types and emblems of the still more glorious 
products of faith working by love ; when the palm- 
tree, the most exuberant of all tropical growths in 
vegetable nectar, and therefore divinely chosen by 
inspiration to set forth the flourishing condition of the 
righteous, shall become the sensible symbol of the 
dwellers there, who, fraught with the sap of the 
heavenly grace, and laden with the verdure and the 
fruits of righteousness, shall raise their voices in notes 
of praise, that swell and reverberate from grove to 

2 22 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

grove, like the soft, sweet echoes of heaven's own 
eternal hallelujahs ; — when these radiant climes, pre- 
eminently distinguished as the ' climes of the sun/ shall 
become the climes of a better sun, — even the Sun of 
Righteousness — vivified by His quickening beams, and 
illumined with the effulgence of His unclouded glory : 

' Be these thy trophies, Queen of many Isles ! 
On these high Heaven shall shed indulgent smiles. 
First, by Thy guardian voice, to India led, 
Shall Truth Divine her tearless victories spread. 
Wide and more wide, the heaven-born light shall stream, 
New realms from thee shall catch the blissful theme ; 
Unwonted warmth the softened savage feel, 
Strange chiefs admire, and turbaned warriors kneel 
The prostrate East submit her jewelled pride, 
And swarthy kings adore the Crucified ! 

Yes, it shall come ! E'en now my eyes behold, 
In distant view, the wished-for age unfold. 
Lo, o'er the shadowy days that roll between, 
A wandering gleam foretells th' ascending scene ! 
Oh ! doomed victorious from thy wounds to rise, 
Dejected India, lift thy downcast eyes ; 
And mark the hour, whose faithful steps for thee, 
Through time's pressed ranks, bring on the Jubilee ! ' w 




The first Missionary Moderator of the General Assembly. — Learning 
and Piety. — Welcoming the Deputies. — Sir John Pirie. — The 
Twenty Years Charters of the E. I. Company. — Burke, Fox, 
and John Stuart Mill.— The Reforms of 1853.— The India 
Committees of Lords and Commons. — Dr. Duff's Statesmanship. — 
Letters to his Hindoo Students and his Wife. — His Evidence on 
Judicial and Administrative Questions. — Fighting the Earl of 
Ellenborough. — Evidence on Education and Christian Missions. 
— Real Author of the Despatch of July, 1854. — Lord Halifax 
and Lord Northbrook. — The Educational Charter of the People 
of India. — The Universities. — The Grant-in-aid System. — 
Death of Russomoy Dutt and the Christianizing of his Clan. — 
A Strange Baptism. — Dr. Duff Sorrowing yet Rejoicing. 

At the unusually early age of forty-five Alexander 
Duff was, in 1851, called by acclamation to the highest 
ecclesiastical seat in Scotland, that of Knox and 
Melville, Henderson and Chalmers. His immediate 
predecessor had declared that what the Preacher of 
the Old Testament calls " the flourish of the almond 
tree " had been the chief recommendation in his case. 
The still young missionary found his qualification in 
" the office which it has been my privilege, however 
unworthily, amid sunshine and storm, for nearly a 
quarter of a century, to hold — the glorious office of 
evangelist, or that of c making known the unsearchable 
riches of Christ among the Gentiles.' 

" Wholly sinking, therefore, the man into the office, 
and desiring to magnify my office, I can rejoice in the 
appointment. In the early and most flourishing times 

224 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1851. 

of the Church, the office of the apostle, missionary, or 
evangelist, who c built not on another man's founda- 
tion/ was regarded as the highest and most honour- 
able. Those who thus went forth to the unreclaimed 
nations were the generals and the captains of the in- 
vading army in the field, while bishops or presbyters 
were but the secondary commandants of garrisons 
planted in the already conquered territory. And even 
in later times, when, in the progress of degeneracy 
and amid the increasing symptoms of decrepitude and 
decay, the bishop came to mount the ladder of secular 
ambition over the more devoted and self-denying mis- 
sionary, the office of the latter still continued to be 
held in considerable repute. Hence we read of Augus- 
tine, and Willibrord, and Winifred, and Anscharius, and 
many more besides, who fearlessly perilled their lives 
in labouring to reclaim the Saxons, Frieslanders, Hes- 
sians, Swedes, and other pagan and barbarous tribes, 
being afterwards created bishops and archbishops, 
in acknowledgment of their arduous and successful 
toils. But in more recent times, when the office of the 
missionary fell into almost entire desuetude among 
the leading Reformed communities of Christendom, 
and the attempt to revive it was at first denounced 
as an unwarrantable intrusion and novelty, the name, 
once so glorious in the Church of Christ, came to be 
associated with all that is low, mean, contemptible, or 
fanatical ; but, praised be God, that of late years the 
name has been rescued from much of the odium, 
through a juster appreciation of the grandeur, dignity, 
and heavenly objects of the office that bears it. For 
the office's sake, therefore, wholly irrespective of the 
worthiness or unworthiness of the individual who may 
hold it, I cannot but hail this day's appointment as a 
sure indication that, whatever the case may be with 
others, the Free Church of Scotland has fairly risen 

iEt. 45. LEARNING AND PIET5T. 225 

above the vulgar and insensate prejudices of a vaunt- 
ingly religious but leanly spiritual age." 

Duff was the first missionary who had sat in the 
Moderator's chair since the first General Assembly in 
1560; but, almost without precedent, he sat there 
twice, as we shall see. John Wilson, of Bombay, was 
the second, twenty years after. Striking off from 
his own theme, in his opening and closing charges 
to the assembled fathers and brethren the Moderator 
of 1851 occupied himself with the stirring history 
and the consequent responsibilities of the Kirk which, 
from Knox to Chalmers, had fought and suffered for 
spiritual independence. His lesson was that all this 
struggling and success of the Kirk are but means to 
an end — the evangelization of the world. Reviewing, 
in his closing charge, the proceedings of the Assembly, 
which had been much occupied with an elevation of 
the standard and an extension of the area of theolo- 
gical scholarship, during the eight years' curriculum 
of the students, he found himself on familiar ground. 
"It ought to be counted one of the chiefest glories 
of our Church that, from the very outset, she resolved 
with God's blessing to secure not only a pious but a 
learned ministry." " What we desiderate is, learning 
in inseparable combination with devoted piety. Piety 
without learning ! Does it not in the case of religious 
teachers ever tend to fanaticism ; would it not be apt 
to make the life of the Church blaze away too fast ? 
Learning without piety ! Does it not ever tend to a 
frigid indifference; would it not soon extinguish 
spiritual life in the Church altogether?" But a 
learned ministry is apt to be proud. " Did it ever 
occur to these shrewd observers that an ignorant 
ministry is apt to be conceited ? And if we must 
choose between two evils, we must, according to the 
old adage, choose the least. But why choose at all? 

vol. n. q 

226 LIFE OF DB. DOFF. 1851. 

We repudiate absolutely the proudly learned as much 
as the conceitedly ignorant. . . Surely the in- 
finitely varying forms of open and avowed infidelity 
in our day render it more than ever necessary that 
the department of Christian evidence or apologetic 
theology should be cultivated to the uttermost, and 
that all the resources of sharpened intellect and ex- 
tensive erudition should be brought to bear upon it." 

In the delicate duty of welcoming and bidding God 
speed to the deputies from the Eeformed Churches 
of France and Belgium, England and Ireland, of the 
Presbyterian rite, Dr. Duff showed his wonted tact and 
fervour. Pasteurs Monod and Bost, Durand and 
Carnot Anquier represented the former ; Professor 
Lorimer and Mr. R. Barbour, Dr. Kilpatrick and Mr. 
Hamilton, of Belfast, bore the greetings of the latter. 
To each the Moderator's wide experience of men and 
countries, of churches and societies, enabled him to 
say something pleasantly personal. M. F. Monod's 
Memoir of Rieu he had borrowed from an American 
friend in Calcutta, and had been comforted by it. M. 
Bost's brother he knew as a missionary in Bengal. In 
the Belgian deputies he saw the fruit, through Merle 
D'Aubigne, of Robert Haldane's zeal. The English 
deputation led him to quote his favourite poet's lines 
" On the New Forcers of Conscience," in order to 
remark : " If a mind like Milton's could have laboured 
under such huge misapprehensions of the character, 
genius, tendency and objects of Presbyterian doctrine, 
discipline and polity, are we to wonder that num- 
bers of the unlearned people in England should labour 
under misapprehensions still greater?" With the 
Irish representatives he found common ground in 
their Goojarat Mission, of which he brought them a 
pleasant report. According to precedent, he com- 
pleted his term of office by opening the General 

Mt 45. SIR JOHN PIRIE. 227 

Assembly of 1852, with a sermon on " The Headship 
of Christ over Individuals, the Church and the Nations, 
practically considered,' ' which, having been published 
at its request, ran through several editions. 

When in London, in 1851, Dr. Duff was called on 
to commit to the grave the body of his dearly attached 
friend Sir John Pirie. Sir Johu had long been head of 
a large shipping firm, had been Lord Mayor, and was 
the first chairman of the Peninsular and Oriental 
Steam Company. Dr. Duff had been blessed to him in 
spiritual things, but when himself dying, recalled to 
his children only the services done to him and the 
Mission by his generous countryman. " Sir John 
Pirie had always done so much for me who had had no 
claim upon him, from the very first time I saw him in 
September, 1829, on my first going out to India, that I 
never knew how it was possible to return the obliga- 
tion. That very day when he came to call upon us in 
St. Paul's Churchyard — it was in the afternoon — we 
had just sat down to lunch which we had meant to 
make our dinner. He was then simply Alderman 
Pirie, and he said : ' The agents of your Mission in 
Scotland asked me to look out for a suitable ship in 
which to take a passage, and get it properly furnished. 
I've just come to tell you the thing is done ; and 
whatever remains I'll see to its being done, so you 
need not have a thought about it. Some day or other 
if you like to go to the docks you may see it, but 
there's no occasion. When you go on board at Ports- 
mouth, you will find everything done as perfectly as if 
you had looked after it yourself. I say this to relieve 
you of all care and anxiety, so that you may freely go 
about London, and get such other articles as you may 
wish to take with you. But my chief message at this 
particular time is from my wife. You see, I am too 
much occupied with the secular affairs of this life to be 

2 28 LIFE OF DR. DUFtf. 1852. 

able to bestow much time or attention on Missions, 
though I try to promote them in every way in my 
power ; but we have no family, and my wife therefore 
has plenty of time on her hands. She spends two 
whole days every week with Mrs. Fry in visiting New- 
gate, and she is continually going about seeking ways 
and modes of doing good. Her message is, you must 
not stop a day in London but come out at once to our 
house at Camberwell, and there all kinds of attention 
will be shown to you.' After his usual manner he 
would allow of no delay. Mrs. Pirie was waiting for 
us, and a warmer reception could not have been given 
to any of her oldest friends. Her house was ever after 
my home in London until her death in 1869. " 

From its foundation under Elizabeth at the close of 
the sixteenth century, to its fall under Victoria in the 
middle of the nineteenth, the East India Company 
was the ally or the tool of the two great parties of the 
state. The periodical renewal of its charter, gener- 
ally every twenty years, involved the fall and the rise 
of Ministries. After the pure and exalted adminis- 
trations of Cromwell and William III., kings did not 
scruple to use its influence as a bribe, nor statesmen 
to covet its patronage for corrupt ends. The Regu- 
lating Act of 1773, which created the Governor- 
General and the Chief Justice, struck the first stroke 
at jobbery at home. But it so demoralized the ad- 
ministration at Calcutta, that in ten years a new 
charter became necessary. Burke, who had unhappily 
refused the invitation of the directors in 1772 to go 
out to India with full power, as head of a commission 
of three to examine and control their affairs, in 
1782 began his lifelong course of unreasoning oppo- 
sition to a system which, when reformed, John Stuart 
Mill justly pronounced the wisest ever devised for the 
government of subject races. India placed Mr. Fox 


side by side with Lord North in the Duke of Portland's 
Coalition Ministry, to carry through Mr. Burke's Bill ; 
and India then made Pitt Prime Minister at twenty- 
four to devise the wiser measure which ended in the 
creation of the Board of Control. All over London 
Fox was caricatured as Carlo Khan riding an 
elephant full tilt against the India Office. 

When the next twenty years had brought round the 
time, in 1813, for another charter, the Court of Direc- 
tors were better prepared to defend their still neces- 
sary monopoly. The Lords rose as the aged Warren 
Hastings entered the House where, a quarter of a 
century before, he had been impeached. His evidence 
and that of a successor, Lord Teignmouth, of Sir T. 
Munro, Sir John Malcolm, and Charles Grant, pre- 
vailed to retain the China commerce for the Company. 
But India was opened to free trade, and, thanks to 
Wilberforce, to missionaries and schoolmasters. By 
the next charter of 1833 the China monopoly too 
passed away, the new province of the North- West was 
created ultimately a lieuteo ant-governorship, the last 
restrictions on the residence of Europeans in India 
were removed, and those administrative reforms were 
conceded which co-operated with Dr. Duff's missionary 

The subsequent twenty years formed a period of real 
and rapid progress. As the time approached for the 
charter of 1853, the governing classes in both India 
and England prepared for a conflict. By discussions 
in the press and petitions to Parliament, the Company 
was assailed by the selfish interests, and criticised by 
the reformers who sought only a more rapid develop- 
ment of the policy begun by Bentinck and Metcalfe 
and fostered by Dalhousie and Thomason, in spite of 
an alarmed conservatism. As the official advocate of 
the venerable corporation, Sir John Kaye took credit 

23O LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

for all that had been done not only by the Directors, 
but in spite of them, by Governor-Generals, mission- 
aries and those whom they used to denounce as inter- 
lopers. So the Company was spared from extinction 
once more, by the Whigs under Sir Charles Wood as 
President of the Board of Control. But several com- 
promises were effected by the Cabinet and Parliament, 
most happily for both India and the mother country. 
The two greatest in reality, though they appeared 
little at the time, were, the concession of nearly all Dr. 
Duff's demands for a truly imperial, catholic, and just 
administration of the educational funds, honours and 
rewards ; and the transfer to the nation, by competi- 
tive examination, of the eight hundred and fifty highly 
paid appointments in the covenanted civil service. 
Besides these, Lower Bengal, was created a lieutenant- 
governorship, like the North-West twenty years before, 
and the Punjab soon after ; and the Crown nominated 
a proportion of the Directors, reduced to eighteen. 
And then, as if to prepare the way for the coming but 
unexpected extinction, the new charter was passed 
subject to the pleasure of Parliament, and not for the 
almost prescriptive period of twenty years. 

It is not too much to say that, in securing all this, 
the three reformers who were foremost were the men 
who in 1830-35 had fought and won the battle of 
educational and administrative progress in India. As 
we read again the many thick folios which contain 
the evidence and reports of the select committees 
of the Houses of Lords and Commons on Indian 
territories, we see the suggestions of Dr. Duff, Mr. 
Marshman, and Sir Charles Trevelyan carried out 
even in detail. Again was Macaulay by his brother- 
in-law's side in the application of the principle of open 
competition to the appointments of India. Mr. 
Marshman did more than any other man to make Sir 


Frederick Halliday the first Lieutenant-Governor of 
Bengal. But it was Dr. Duff who succeeded in 
placing the keystone in the arch of his aggressive 
educational system by the famous Despatch of 1854. 
He had returned to England determined to secure from 
his own countrymen the measure of justice to non- 
government colleges and schools which the bureaucracy 
of Calcutta had denied, in spite of Lord Hardinge's 
order. We have seen how he began by privately in- 
forming and influencing the statesmen and members 
of Parliament who cared for the good of the people 
of India. Wilberforce and Charles Grant were gone, 
and had left no successors. In the public action of 
Parliament itself, through the constitutional channel 
of its select committees of inquiry, he found the 
means not only of utilising the private work he had 
done, but of informing the whole country and prac- 
tically influencing legislation. When a government 
happens to be in earnest, as the Aberdeen ministry of 
the day were, and when legislation is inevitable, as 
the charter of 1853 was, there is no duty so delightful 
to the statesmanlike reformer as that of convincing 
a parliamentary committee. 

Nor intellectually are there many feats more exhaust- 
ing than that of sitting from eleven to four o'clock, 
and on more days than one, the object of incessant 
questioning, by fifteen or twenty experts, on the most 
difficult problems, economic and administrative, that 
can engage the statesman. So long as the examina- 
tion in chief proceeds, or a friendly member follows 
along the witness's own line, all may go well. But 
when the cross-fire begins, when you are the victim 
of a member who is hostile to your views and is deter- 
mined to shake evidence damaging to his own, or of 
one who is at once conceited enough to prefer his 
own facts to yours and clever enough to delude you 

232 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

into accepting partial premisses which will lead to his 
conclusions and upset yours, then there is need for the 
keenest weapons and the most practised skill. This 
was Dr. Duff's position, and he was moreover one of 
a band of witnesses of rare experience and ability. 
Such were these members of the Leadenhall Street 
staff — John Stuart Mill, whose school have not even 
yet learned how great and wise he was on Indian 
questions ; and Thomas Love Peacock, whose piquant 
novels afford a wealth of classic wit and culture 
to readers with discrimination enough to discover 
genius. Of the same type of experience was Mr. 
Henry Reeve, of the Privy Council. Lord Hardinge 
stated the results of his administration as Governor- 
General and Commander-in-Chief. On the Indian 
side were judges and civilians of such distinction as 
Sir E. Ryan and Sir E. Perry, R. M. Bird am 
Mangles, Sir J. P. Willoughby and Sir F. Halliday, 
and of such promise as Sir George Campbell. Amonj 
soldiers, besides Gough and Napier there were Cotton. 
Pollock and Melville. Scholars like H. H. Wilson, 
lawyers like N". B. E. Baillie, bishops, missionaries 
and priests, and finally Parsees submitted their evidence 
week after week during the sessions of 1852 and 1853. 
Among the members of the Lords Committee wen 
peers of the official experience of Ellenborough, Tweed- 
dale and Elphinstone, Brougliton and Glenelg. Cliv( 
was represented in his grandson Lord Powis. Lore 
Canning unconsciously prepared himself for a respon- 
sibility he then knew not of. Lord Monteagle of Bran- 
don, Lord Stanley of Alderley, and Lord Ashburtoi 
were constant and intelligent in their attendance. The 
Commons Committee numbered in its larger list the 
names of Joseph Hume, erst Bengal doctor and army 
contractor; Mr. Baring, destined to be Governor- 
General ; Sir Charles Wood, whose private secretary 


he then was; Mr. Cobden; Mr. Yernon Smith, who 
might have learned more to fit him for the home 
management of the Mutiny when it came ; Mr. Lowe, 
always wise on India ; Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Disraeli, 
Lord Palmerston, Mr. Macaulay, and Mr. James Wilson 
who thus took his earliest lessons in Indian finance, for 
which he was to do so much, and do it in vain, thanks 
to successors unequal to himself. Such were the 
witnesses, and such the personnel of the select com- 
mittees appointed to inquire into the operation of the 
charter of William IV., for the better government of 
Her Majesty's Indian territories till the 30th day of 
April, 1854. 

These letters show the spirit in which Dr. Duff 
continued his preparations for the committee. The 
first is addressed to Baboo Ishur Chunder De, one 
of his old Hindoo students who had become a mathe- 
matical tutor of the college, and the other teachers. 
The second was written to his wife. 

"London, 2nd April, 1853. 

" My dear Friends, — Though your last communication has 
been so long unacknowledged, rest assured it is not from 
abated interest in yourselves personally, or in your labours. 
Oh, no ! though separated from you in body I am constantly 
with you in spirit ; in the Institution and among your classes. 
If I am remainiug in this country longer than I had expected, 
it is only for the sake of India's welfare. For India is ever 
uppermost in my mind ; and my prayer to God is that she 
may yet be ' great, glorious, and free/ I am here now, privately 
conferring with various influential persons connected with 
Parliament and the India House, concerning Indian affairs. 
There is undoubtedly a growing interest in the subject. The 
magnitude of the interests involved is beginning to be better 
understood, and I do fondly hope that much may yet be done, 
though not nearly so much as the best friends of India would 

" The last programme of the annual examination is before 

234 LIFE 0F DR - DCFF. 1853. 

me ; and from it I see the indications of your diligence, as well 
as that of your pupils. Tell the latter, whether the older ones 
who are personally known to me or the younger ones who 
have entered since I left you, that I am intensely and unceas- 
ingly interested in their welfare and in the progress of their 
studies, and long very much to be once more in the midst of 
you all. By next mail I hope that Mr. Gardiner will go out 
to supply Mr. Sinclair's place. I cannot doubt that you and 
your pupils will all of you give him a warm, hearty, tropical 
reception. I remain, my dear friends, yours very sincerely, 

" Alexander Duff." 

u Champion Hill, \Mh April, 1853. 

"Here I am and getting deeper and deeper into Indian 
affairs. By perseverance and trust in the Lord, I am gradually 
getting more and more of the ear of men in whose hands Pro- 
vidence has placed, for the present, the future destinies of 
India. Some two hours were spent yesterday with Lord Ash- 
burton in his own house. He got more and more interested 
with the subject as we went on, took notes, etc. And when 
the hour came for his going to another meeting, he expressed 
the strongest regret, and begged of me as a great favour, to 
come to him again to-morrow, and go over a great deal of 
ground which remained to be overtaken. 

" Thereafter I went to Trevelyan, who took me to Lord 
Granville, the chairman of the Lords Indian Committee. The 
latter was singularly frank, and expressed the highest gratifica- 
tion at the prospect of getting important information from 
me. He only broke ground on Indian subjects ; but he 
took my address, and is to send for me again. They are 
not yet done with taking evidence on the judicial depart- 
ment ; and he would have me give them what information I 
could on that subject, as an independent witness unconnected 
with the Company. I told him that, as an unprofessional 
man, I did not like much appearing formally in that depart- 
ment. But when he urged me I could not help agreeing to 
appear before the Lords on Tuesday next, and tell them what 
I knew, apart altogether from legal technicalities. Pray for 
me ! It is a great opportunity ! " 

May 12th. — " I am summoned to appear before the Lords 
on Thursday, the 26th May, the very middle of our Assembly. 


I mean to try and get the day put off for a week later. 
But I shall now be obliged to come up here again, before the 
Assembly closes. This of course I cannot help, as these com- 
mittees have power to compel witnesses (if unwilling even) 
to attend. Moreover, it is essential that my evidence should 
be given and recorded on the education question. 

u I have been exploring some of the darkest places in London, 
in company of one of the most experienced agents of the 
London City Mission. And last Sabbath circumstances con- 
strained me to turn street preacher in one of the broadest 
streets at the east end of London. It was a precious oppor- 
tunity of preaching the gospel to hundreds of the Papists and 
outcasts. Before I was far on, they became an attentive 
audience, and the precious invitation of the gospel was freely 
given to them. Some seemed affected ; and at the end several 
came forward with tears in their eyes, thanking me, and saying 
they never heard such words before. They were chiefly the 
words of Scripture in its alluring promises to sinners and 
publicans if they return, repenting of their sins, to God." 

Dr. Duff's evidence on the purely judicial and ad- 
ministrative questions decided by the charter proved 
to be of unexpected value. Not only had he been 
conversant, personally, with the reforms of Lord 
William Bentinck and the experienced civilians who 
advised and assisted the most radical statesman who 
ever filled the Viceroy of India's seat; the mission- 
ary had for six years been the head of all the reformers 
in India, who, in the Calcutta Review, discussed in 
detail the measures which were successfully pressed on 
the attention of Parliament. It had been his duty, as 
editor, not only to correct their articles, but to work 
up into papers of his own the materials supplied by 
high officials who preferred to avoid the direct re- 
sponsibilities of criticism. Hence we find him stating 
with a lawyer-like precision, born of the familiarity 
with a subject that much writing about it gives, the 
nature of the two prevailing schools of Hindoo law 

236 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1853, 

in Bengal; the necessity for simple codes, criminal 
and civil ; the merits of the educated natives as judges 
atoning for their defects in an executive capacity ; the 
claims of the Eurasians ; the oppressions of the ryot 
tenantry by their zemindar landlords ; the atrocities of 
the police and the laxity of the jail discipline; the 
unavoidable neglect of the sixty millions of Lower 
Bengal by the overworked Governor-General, and the 
necessity for the detailed supervision of a Lieutenant- 
Governor. Most generous, but wisely limited by the 
truth of facts, was his appreciation of Eurasian and 
native officials, and of the Haileybury civilians and 
British administration generally. To Lord Ash- 
burton's question, " Do you consider that the present 
generation of the civil servants of the Company are 
answerable for the existence of the abuses you have 
described p" he replied : " Certainly not, intention- 
ally ; but no doubt they may be answerable indirectly 
in another way, inasmuch as from their comparative 
ignorance of the language and of the laws, and per- 
haps from the general imperfection of the system, 
some of these abuses may have sprung up." When 
Lord Elphinstone, after his Madras experience, asked 
whether the difficulty of imprinting good ideas on the 
native mind is not greater than anything we can 
conceive of here, where all people have some ideas 
of conscience, he said, " There are exceptions, but 
the difficulty is such as to have driven many to the 
extreme of saying that we must leave the adults to 
themselves, and look to the rising generation as the 
great hope of the future. " Hence, he added, " The 
British Government has, perhaps, done relatively as 
much as it was practicable for a merely human gov- 
ernment, in such untoward circumstances, and with 
such imperfect instruments to overtake. . . No 
amelioration in our legislative or judicial policy will 


reach the springs of some of those evils which I have 
attempted so inadequately to delineate. Their spring- 
heads are to be found in those deep-rooted super- 
stitions which work so disastrously in deteriorating 
native society. Nothing can suffice but a real, thorough, 
searching, moralizing, and I should individually say, 
christianizing course of instruction, which, by illumin- 
ing the understanding and purifying the heart, will 
inspire with the love of truth and rectitude, and so 
elevate the whole tone of moral feeling and social 
sentiment among the people." 

After a day under examination on the whole sub- 
ject of the secular administration, ending in this only 
radical and effectual remedy, Dr. Duff: spent nearly 
two days in giving evidence on the educational needs 
and application of that remedy. Here he had as his 
vigilant adversary the able and then bitterly antichris- 
tian Earl of Ellenborough, with whom he had many a 
passage at arms. So little did this foe of Missions 
know of the facts of an empire which he had ruled, and 
even of a city in which he had lived for two or three 
years, that on the mention of the conversion of the 
Koolin Brahman, Krishna Mohun Banerjea, he asked, 
" Is not he a Parsee ? " Having so smarted under 
public criticism that he once boasted he read no 
journal save one devoted wholly to advertisements, 
Lord Ellenborough pounced upon a reference to the 
Bengalee papers to make it the occasion of this 
inquiry, " Are they not in the habit of translating all 
the worst and most libellous passages from the English 
newspapers ? " The missionary's impromptu reply was 
two-edged : " I regret to say that they very often do 
translate passages of that kind, both on the subject 
of politics and on the subject of religion, the character 
of the one being antichristian and of the other anti- 
British. I have seen translated into some of the 

?38 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

Bengalee papers passages out of Paine's ' Age of 
Reason/ and similar obnoxious publications, and on 
the other hand, passages from certain organs of 
violent political partisanship. " Lord Ellenborough's 
sneer at Lord William Bentinck's inquiry, through 
Mr. W. Adam, into the state of indigenous education, 
was repelled with similarly delicate truthfulness. 
His defence of the immoralities of the Krishna and 
other scriptures, which Lord Northbrook had after- 
wards to order to be blotted out of the Government 
school-books, as " heroic legends," met with this quiet 
rebuke, " There are such — such as those taken from 
the ' Ramayun,' but even those are continually mixed 
up not only with much that is wildly extravagant, but 
much that is also grossly polluting." The more in- 
telligent objection suggested by Lord Stanley of 
Alderley, whose relation to Islam has been so peculiar, 
was met with equal promptitude : " Would not your 
objections to such teaching apply to their teaching 
their religion at all ? " " Doubtless it would ; but on 
them must rest the responsibility of so doing. Their 
religion, if taught at all, cannot be taught without 
teaching those things; they form a constituent part 
of it." 

Dr. Duff's statement to the Lords Committee re- 
garding his system and its results in the previous 
twenty years has a meaning for the present time, 
when the latest conference, chiefly of vernacular- 
preaching missionaries at Bangalore, has this year 
passed a resolution, of significant stringency in its 
favour.* Asked by the Duke of Argyll which, upor 

* " This Conference desires to express its fall appreciation of the 
value of high class Christian education as a missionary agency, 
and its hope that the friends of Indian Missions will sympathise 
with this equally with other branches of evangelistic work in this 
country. The Native Church in India needs at present, and will 


the whole, had been the most successful missionary 
station with regard to actual and declared conversions, 
Dr. Duff stated what is substantially true at the present 
hour, save that the deterioration of the Krishnaghur 
itinerating mission is one of many proofs that, without 
educational evangelizing, such missions will not de- 
velop or build up an expanding church, but will 
pass away with their first converts, leaving only such 
Hindooizing mongrels as the mass of Xavier's and 
the Jesuit churches in the East have long since be- 
come : 

" We must draw a distinction between two sets of mission 
agencies, one educational, and the other the ordinary method 
of itineracy among the villagers ; these two are essentially 
distinct. In the villages we often meet with numbers who 
are comparatively simple and unsophisticated in their minds ; 
numbers too who, being ignorant, have less to get rid of, and 
being of low caste, or no caste, have less to lose. Of this de- 
scription there have been cases where considerable numbers 
have made a profession of Christianity ; but the profession of 
many of them, with unexercised, unenlarged minds, may be 
very unsatisfactory ; at the same time, the sincerity and intel- 
ligence of a few among them may be beyond all question. In. 
this department of success, Krishnaghur in Bengal, and Tinne- 
velli in the Madras Presidency, stand out as the most con- 

still more need in the future, men of superior education to occupy 
positions of trust and responsibility as pastors, evangelists, and 
leading members of the community, such as can only be supplied 
by our high class Christian Institutions. Those missionaries who 
are engaged in vernacular ivorh desire especially to bear testimony 
to the powerful effect in favour of Christianity which these in- 
stitutions are exercising throughout the country, and to record 
their high regard for the educational work as a necessary part of the 
work of the Christian Church in India. This Conference feels 
bound to place on record its conviction that these two great 
branches of Christian work are indispensable complements of one 
another, and would earnestly hope that they will be so regarded by 
the Christian Church, and that both will meet with continued and 
hearty support." 

24O LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

spicuous examples, both in connection with the Church of 
England Missions. Then, with regard to the educational de- 
partments of missionary success, more has been realized in 
Calcutta than at any other station in India, as the higher 
evangelistic processes in that department were begun there at 
an earlier period, and have been multiplied in connection with 
different evangelical churches to a greater extent than else- 
where. Numerically considered, however, the converts from 
these higher educational missionary processes make no great 
figure ; they ought, however, to be estimated not by their 
quantity, but by their quality. Young persons come at a very 
early age, in a state of heathenism, and go through a long 
preparatory course of training. In the progress of their 
Christian studies, the consciences of some are pricked with 
convictions of sin ; they find in the gospel the true salvation, 
and they openly embrace the Christian faith. It is but a small 
proportion of them, however, that do so ; but then, from their 
cultured and well-stored minds, they are of a higher order of 
converts. Some of them become teachers, and some preachers 
of the gospel ; and to train and qualify such is one of the 
great ulterior ends of the institution which I was privileged to 
found, as well as of other similar institutions in Calcutta, 
Madras, Bombay and elsewhere. Of these young Hindoo 
preachers, two have already visited this country from our 
Madras and Bombay institutions; these preached, even in 
Edinburgh, with the greatest acceptance, to some of the most 
intellectual congregations there ; and at Calcutta we have at 
least three such young men at this moment, and at Madras 
three, and three at Bombay, with others at these several 
stations following close on their footsteps. All this indicates a 
real and substantial beginning; and as similar causes in similar 
circumstances produce similar effects, the multiplication of 
similar Christian educational means may, by God's blessing, 
be expected to issue in similar results throughout the chief 
cities and districts of India/' 

For Dr. Duff and the whole body of Christian 
reformers at that time, however, the outcome of the 
inquiry by the Parliamentary committees, and of the 
legislation that followed, was the famous Educational 


Despatcli of 1854. How emphatically he was its 
author, how directly his evidence told on the President 
of the Board of Control, on the Cabinet and on the 
Parliament of that day, will be seen from this con- 
densed answer to the invitation of Lord Stanley of 
Alderley, " Will you state what you would propose 
the Government should do towards the further im- 
provement and extension of education in India." 

" Fall back on the resolutions of Lord William Bentinck, in 
March, 1835, resolutions which, without damaging or inter- 
fering with the existing vested rights of any one, would lead 
to the gradual abolition of these oriental colleges as seminaries 
for the educational training of natives, and thus liberate the 
funds so wastefully lavished upon them for the purposes of a 
sound and healthful education throughout the land. If the 
learned oriental languages are to be taught at all in the 
Government institutions, they ought to be taught simply as 
languages by one or two native professors, under general 
European superintendence, with a practical view towards the 
enrichment of the vernacular tongues, and the raising up of a 
superior class of vernacular translators and teachers. In this 
salutary direction some considerable steps have recently been 
taken in the Sanskrit College of Poona, under the admirable 
arrangements of Major Candy. Then, secondly, the time has 
come when, in places like Calcutta and Bombay, the Govern- 
ment might very well relinquish its pecuniary control over 
primary or merely elementary education. The demand is in 
these places so great for the higher English instruction that, 
were a test or criterion of scholarship established for ad- 
mission to the colleges, where, as in Europe, the higher 
branches alone of literature, philosophy and science, etc., 
ought to be taught, the natives would be found both able and 
willing in sufficient numbers to qualify themselves. In Cal- 
cutta the pupils' fees in the vernacular school connected with 
the Hindoo College amount to about 12,000 rupees annually 
(£1,200). In the Hindoo College itself they amount to 
about 30,000 rupees (£3,000). Some of the heads of native 
society have now acquired sufficient experience and aptitude 
to enable them to carry on the management of the necessary 
VuL. II. E 

242 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1S53. 

preparatory seminaries themselves. In this way a consider- 
able saving might be effected in the educational funds. 
Thirdly : the time has come when, more especially at the 
presidency seats, lectureships on high professional subjects, 
such as law and civil engineering, should be established, not 
as an integral or constituent part of the course of any existing 
Government college, but on such a free and unrestricted 
footing as to admit of the attendance of qualified students 
from all other institutions, East Indian, Armenian, Missionary 
or Native. In this way not only might a stimulus be given to 
the general cause of sound education, but the Government 
might, in the spirit of Lord Hardinge's resolution, obtain for 
its own services a larger share than now of really superior 
native talent and cultivated acquirement. The time has also 
come in Calcutta, at least, when, with comparatively little 
additional expense to Government, a university might be 
established, somewhat after the general model of the London 
University, with a sufficient number of faculties, constituted 
on so wide and liberal and comprehensive a basis, as to 
embrace within the range of its stimulating and fostering 
influence whatever sound, invigorating, purifying, elevating 
studies may be carried on in any, whether of the Government 
or non-Government institutions. Fourthly : the time has 
now come when, in the estimation even of many who formerly 
thought otherwise (I simply state this is an expression of my 
own deliberate opinion, in which, however, I know there is an 
entire concurrence on the part of a large body of British 
subjects in this country aud India), the Government might with 
the greatest propriety and advantage act on the principle re- 
commended in the minute by Lord Tweeddale, dated August, 
1816. That principle, for very strong and weighty reasons set 
forth in the miuute itself — a minute which, in justice to the 
noble author, and to the great cause of improved education 
which he so ably advocates, might well be called for as evidence 
by this committee — that principle is to allow the Bible to be 
introduced as a class-book into the English .classes of Govern- 
ment institutions, under the express and positive proviso that 
attendance on any class, at the hour when it was taught, 
should be left entirely optional j in other words, leaving it 
entirely free to the native students to read it or not, as 
their consciences might dictate or their parents desire. 


Lastly, the Government ought to extend its aid to all other 
institutions, by whomsoever originated and supported, where 
a sound general education is communicated. . . Here 
at home the Government does not expend its educational 
resources on the maintenance of a few monopolist institutions ; 
it strives to stimulate all parties, by offering proportional aid 
to all who show themselves willing to help themselves. 
. . Without directly trenching on the peculiar religious 
convictions or prejudices of any parties, Hindoo, Mussulman, 
European or any others, the Government educational funds 
would have the effect of extending and multiplying tenfold, at 
a comparatively small cost, really useful schools and seminaries, 
and of thus more rapidly and widely diffusing the benefits of an 
enlightened education among the masses of the people. Thus 
also, by the adoption of such and other kindred improving 
measures, and the smile of the God of providence upon them, 
may the British Government in India render its administra- 
tion of that vast realm a source and surety of abounding pros- 
perity to itself, a guarantee of brightening hope to the millions 
of the present generation, a fount of reversionary blessing to 
future generations who, as they rise in long succession, may 
joyously hail the sway of the British sceptre as the surest 
pledge not only of the continued enjoyment of their dearest 
rights, but the extension and improvement of their noblest 

Rarely, if ever, has a parliamentary committee had 
such an ideal sketched for it, or a policy struck on so 
high a key. Lord Ellenborough did not like opinions 
which cut at the root of his almost equally fervid 
secularism, and mildly suggested political ruin to " our 
Government," as the result of success in effecting a 
great improvement in the education of the Hindoos. 
Dr. Duff caught at the opportunity to answer the ex- 
Governor- General, and went to the very root of the 
matter in a statement which thus concluded : " I have 
never ceased to pronounce the system of giving a high 
English education, without religion, a blind suicidal 
policy. On the other hand, for weighty reasons, I have 

244 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1853. 

never ceased to declare, that if our object be, not merely 
for our own aggrandisement but very specially for the 
welfare of the natives, to retain our dominion in India, 
no wiser or more effective plan can be conceived than 
that of bestowing this higher English education in 
close and inseparable alliance with the illumining, 
quickening, beautifying influences of the Christian 
faith. The extension of such higher education, so 
combined, would only be the means of consolidating 
and perpetuating the British Empire in India for years 
or even ages to come, vastly, yea almost immeasurably, 
to the real and enduring benefit of both." Lord Ellen- 
borough returned to the charge from the flank. 
Having secured the admission that Dr. Duff would 
look on the withdrawal of our controlling power as the 
signal for universal anarchy and chaos in the present 
circumstances of India, he insinuated " we should not 
therefore run any risks, nor do anything which might 
lead to that result." " Nothing, assuredly, which would 
naturally or necessarily tend to so disastrous a con- 
summation," was the rejoinder. And the three days' 
examination ended with the reiterated statement 
elicited by Lord Wynford, that Dr. Duff did not fear 
those evil political results from the extension of educa- 
tion " if wisely and timeously united with the great im- 
proving, regulating, controlling, and conservative power 
of Christianity. " A few days afterwards these views 
received independent support from Sir C. Trevelyan 
on all those points. That hard-headed, shrewd 
official, who, after six years in Upper India and six 
years in Bengal, had become Secretary to the Trea- 
sury, made this remarkable statement in reply to 
the Bishop of Oxford, the only spiritual peer on the 
committee : " Many persons mistake the way in 
which the conversion of India will be brought about. 
I believe it will take place at last wholesale, just as 


our own ancestors were converted. The country will 
have Christian instruction infused into it in every way 
by direct missionary education, and indirectly through 
books of various kinds, through the public papers, 
through conversation with Europeans, and in all the 
conceivable ways in which knowledge is communicated. 
Then at last, when society is completely saturated with 
Christian knowledge, and public opinion has taken a de- 
cided turn that way, they will come over by thousand s." 
So well did the President of the Board of Control, 
the present Lord Halifax, master this and the other 
evidence, that, although he had entered on office only 
a few months before, he at once made a reputation as 
an official of the highest order by the five hours' speech 
with which he introduced the new India Bill. This 
done, Dr. Duff and Mr. Marshman worked out the 
educational portion of their statements before the 
committee, in a form which Lord Northbrook, then 
the President's private secretary, embodied in a state 
paper. That was sent out to the Marquis of Dalhousie 
as the memorable Despatch of the 9th July, 1854, 
signed by ten directors of the East India Company. 
Dr. Duff's handiwork can be traced not only in the 
definite orders, but in the very style of what has ever 
since been pronounced the great educational charter 
of the people of India. Had he done nothing besides 
influencing the decrees of Lord William Bentinck, 
Lord Hardinge, and Lord Halifax, each a stage in the 
catholic edifice of public instruction, that would have 
been enough. But these ordinances by Parliament 
and the Government of India, were possible only be- 
cause of the missionary's practical demonstration in 
1830-34. And that demonstration had for its chief 
end the destruction of Hindooism, and the Christiam- 
zation of the hundred and thirty millions of Eastern 
and Northern India. 

246 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

The Despatch covers eighteen folio pages of a par- 
liamentary blue-book. It has been often reprinted in 
India, but when in 1873 Dr. Duff attempted to procure 
a copy in this country, Lord Kinnaird led the India 
Office to republish it. Beginning with the re-assertion 
of Lord William Bentinck's two great but disregarded 
principles, that " the education we desire to see ex- 
tended in India must be effected by means of the 
English language in the higher branches of instruction, 
and by that of the vernacular languages to the great 
mass of the people," Parliament and the Company 
combine to establish the machinery for the purpose. 
And this they do although " fully aware " that it " will 
involve in the end a much larger expenditure from the 
revenue of India " than was allowed at the time. The 
machinery was : Government inspectors of secular 
instruction; universities on the model of that of 
London, but with professorships in physical science ; 
secondary schools, English and Anglo-vernacular, in 
every city and county ; primary and indigenous schools 
carefully improved ; grants in aid of all ; like university 
degrees to all who work up to certain uniform stand- 
ards ; normal schools, school books, scholarships, public 
appointments, medical, engineering and art colleges; 
and finally female schools. As to religion, Lords 
Halifax and Northbrook put into the mouth of the 
directors sentiments similar to those which Lord 
Derby afterwards expressed on behalf of the Queen in 
the Proclamation of 1858 : " The Bible is, we under- 
stand, placed in the libraries of the colleges and 
schools, and the pupils are able freely to consult it. 
This is as it should be, and, moreover, we have no 
desire to prevent or to discourage any explanations 
which the pupils may, of their own free-will, ask from 
their masters on the subject of the Christian religion, 
provided that such information be given out of school 


hours." But of this voluntary instruction " no notice 
shall be taken by the inspectors in their periodical 
visits." In the review of the progress of education in 
India with which it concludes, the Despatch says, of 
" Madras, where little has yet been done by Govern- 
ment to promote the education of the mass of the 
people, we can only remark with satisfaction that the 
educational efforts of Christian missionaries have been 
more successful among the Tamul population than in 
any other part of India." 

The rest of Dr. Duffs Indian career, outside of the 
purely spiritual sphere, was devoted to the realizing 
of what he had thus legislatively and administratively 
secured from Parliament and the Company. The 
struggle was long and bitter, and when he was re- 
moved it became more and more unsuccessful down 
to the present hour. At this stage we may show 
his satisfaction that a system so catholic and so 
cultured, fair to all men and all truth because born 
of the teaching of Him Who came to gather all into 
His one fold, has been authoritatively written for 
ever on the statute-book of our Eastern Empire. 
But the two features absolutely new in India, of the 
universities and the grants-in-aid, demand a word of 
explanation. ' The time is coming — the period has 
come — when men dispute whose is the honour of 
having first suggested them. 

Mr. C. H. Cameron, one of the early successors of 
Macaulay in Calcutta, seems, from the Parliamentary 
evidence, to have been the first to declare that work 
like Dr. Duffs had made Bengal ripe for a university. 
Dr. Mouat, when secretary to the Government Council 
of Education, elaborated the proposal officially, but it 
was rejected by the Court of Directors as then pre- 
mature. The first whom Dr. Mouat consulted on the 
scheme was Dr. Duff, who went over it with him in 

248 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

detail. The missionary's further development and 
advocacy of the reform in private and public, gave 
it the Christian catholicity of spirit which led to its 
adoption ten years after. The still more fruitful grant- 
in-aid proposal was first laid by Dr. Duff himself before 
the Court of Directors, as the result of his early con- 
ferences with reformers like Lord Cholmondeley and 
Mr. J. M. Strachan in 1851. He urged it as the only 
just alternative if the state persisted in refusing 
to allow the Bible to be taught, under a conscience 
clause, in its colleges, as the Koran and the Yedas 
are taught. When, by almost their last act, the Bast 
India Company attempted to resile from the grant- 
in-aid orders, in the case of the Christian Santals, 
Mr. Strachan published a successful remonstrance 
based on this very ground. 

On its way to Calcutta the Despatch of 1854 was 
crossed by a private letter from Dr. W. S. Mackay, 
announcing one of those events which, while they 
illustrate the opinion expressed by Sir C. Trevelyan as 
to the social process of India's conversion, show that 
the Spirit works as the wind bloweth where it listeth. 

" Calcutta, 29th June, 1854. 

H Strange events are passing around us ; ajnd though our 
fears exceed our hopes, no man can say what the issue may be. 
You may have heard that Russomoy Dutt is dead ; and you 
know that the family had always a leaning towards the gospel. 

"While attending his father's burning, the eldest son, Kishen, 
was taken ill of fever, and died also after a few days' illness. 
The next day, Grish (the youngest son) wrote to Ogilvy 
Temple, asking me to go and visit him. I was very ill at the 
time, and confined to bed ; so I got Mr. Ewart to accompany 
Ogilvy ; and they saw nearly all the brothers together. They 
conversed with Ewart long and seriously, and begged him to 
pray with them, all joining in the Amen. It gradually came 
out that their dying brother had a dream or vision of the other 
world ; that he professed, not only his belief in Christianity, 

iEt. 48. THE DUTT FAMILY. 249 

but his desire to be immediately baptized, and desired me to 
be sent for. Objections were made to this, and then he asked 
them to send for Mr. Wylie. This also was evaded ; and at 
last, Grish offered to read the baptismal service, to put the 
questions, and to baptize him ; and thus the youngest brother 
(himself not yet a Christian) actually baptized the other in the 
name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit of God ! 
The dying man then called all his family around him, and, in 
the presence of Mr. Naylor, bore dying testimony to Christ, 
and besought his family to embrace the gospel. It appeared 
that old Russomoy himself had been a careful reader of the 
Bible, and that he had made all the ladies of the family write 
out the whole of the Psalms in Bengalee. 

11 We found that all the brothers and most of their sons were 
so far believers in Christianity that they were making prepar- 
ations in their families, getting their affairs in order, and con- 
versing with their wives, with a view of coming over to the 
Lord in a body — their cousin, Shoshee Chunder Dutt, with 
them. The wives were willing to remain with their husbands, 
but are still firm idolaters. We have had several interviews 
with them since of a very interesting nature, and Lai Behari 
has been particularly useful. . . If the whole family are 
baptized together, you may suppose what an excitement it will 
produce ; for take them all in all, they are the most distin- 
guished Hindoo family under British rule. Their ideas of 
Christian doctrine are vague, but sound on the whole. Their 
guide in reading the Bible has been Scott's Commentary; and 
they seem to acquiesce in his views of the Trinity and Atone- 
ment. But alas, our dear friend Wylie hangs between life and 
death, and I fear the worst. He went to see the Dutts at my 
request on Wednesday week — was eagerly interested — and as 
soon as he got home, began a letter to one of them. While 
he was writing the fever struck him, and he had to lay down 
his pen. The half-finished letter, with a few words added by 
Milne, and a note from me, describing the circumstances in 
which it was written and Mr. Wylie's desire that it should 
be sent as it was, have all been sent to Grish." 

Of this letter Dr. Duff wrote to Dr. Tweedie that it 
should be kept as a peculiar and singularly interesting 
statement. After further instruction by Dr. Mackay 

25O LIFE OF DE. DUFF. 1854. 

and much prayer and study of the Scriptures, all the 
families were received by baptism into Christ, in the 
Bengalee church built for the Rev. K. M. Banerjea. 
" The case altogether " was characterized by Dr. Duff 
in October, 1854, when he was suffering severely 
under reaction from his excessive labours, as " one 
of the very rarest, if not the rarest that has yet 
occurred in India. The old man, the father, was the 
very first of my native acquaintances. Many a long 
and earnest talk have I had with him. From the first 
he was singularly enlightened in a general way, and 
superior to native prejudices. His sons were wont to 
come constantly to my house, to discuss the subject 
of Christianity and borrow books. I need not say 
how, in my sore affliction, the tidiugs of God's work 
among them has tended to let in some reviving beams 
on the gloom of my distressed spirit. Intelligence of 
this sort operates like a real cordial to the soul, more 
especially now as I am slowly emerging from the 
valley of the shadow of a virtual death. Praise the 
Lord, my soul ! " Mr. Macleod Wylie, whose 
colleague as a native judge Russomoy Dutt had been, 
was restored to do work for the Master to this hour. 
The Rev. John Milne, to whom Dr. Mackay alludes, was 
the godly preacher of Perth to whom the Free Church 
congregation of Calcutta, and good men of all sorts in 
Bengal, were grateful for ministering to them. 

When describing Calcutta and its great Hindoo 
septs in 1830, we anticipated that we should see 
how the Christianity brought to them by Dr. Duff 
" tested them and sifted their families, and still tries 
their descendants as a divine touchstone. " Russomoy 
and the Dutt family were the first of these thus to 
stand the test. So is it that many shall come from 
the East and the West and shall sit down in the king- 
dom of heaven. 




Mr. George IT. Stuart of Philadelphia. — The Young Republic 
Sensitive to Criticism. — The Pope's Nuncio to America. — Dr. 
Duff and Stormy Weather. — Letter to his Wife. — A Memorable 
Anniversary. — Weeks of Tempest.— A Sabbath in the Storm. — 
An Ice-covered Steamer. — Christ in the Ship. — Stranded in the 
Hudson. — New York. — Welcomed by Seventy Ministers of Phil- 
adelphia in a Snowstorm. — Orations there and in New York. — 
American Criticism. — Preaching to Congress. — A Day with the 
President — At George Washington's Tomb. — Triumphal Progress 
by Pittsburg, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Chicago, and 
Detroit. — The Falls of Niagara. — Montreal. — Toil and Exhaus- 
tion.— Missionary Convention in New York. — Farewell to America. 
— General Assembly of 1854. — Paving the Penalty of Over- work. 
— At Malvern. — The Fifth Earl of Aberdeen. — At Biarritz and 
Pau. — Relapse at Rome. — A Peace-maker in the Martyr Church 
of the Vaudois. — From Genoa by Palermo, Alexandria and 
Beyrout, to Damascus, Jerusalem, and Constantinople. — Farewell 
Warnings, through the Presbytery of Edinburgh, to Christen- 
dom. — Returns to India for the Third Time. 

Among the American visitors to Edinburgh, the his- 
torical capital of Presbyterianism, in 1851, was Mr. 
George H. Stuart, a merchant of Philadelphia. With 
what Dr. Duff afterwards described as " all that mar- 
vellous readiness and frankness peculiar to the Ameri- 
can character, though himself originally an Irishman, 
a combination therefore of the excellencies of the two 
characters," he introduced himself to the Moderator 
of the General Assembly at the official residence. As 
he had sat spell-bound by the addresses of that year, 
and had been roused by the contagious enthusiasm 

252 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

of the Missionary-Moderator, be determined to invite 
Dr. Duff to visit the Churches of the United States. 
" You must come to America," exclaimed Mr. Stuart 
as he burst in upon the wearied orator, " you shall 
have a cordial welcome." And observing the gather- 
ing frown of dissent, he prevented refusal by the one 
argument which was irresistible, " We want to be 
stirred up there; there is plenty of material there, we 
need only to be stirred up." At the beginning merely 
of his financial crusade, Dr. Duff had anew to stir up 
his own Church and country. But it came to be un- 
derstood that, if the invitation were renewed when 
that should have been completed, it would be con- 
sidered. Meanwhile a formal request for a visit came 
from the Synod of Canada. Repeatedly did Mr. 
Stuart write and plead, and cause not a few ecclesias- 
tical and public bodies to do the same. When the 
beginning of 1854 saw the missionary return from 
the successful close of his nearly four years' campaign 
all over Scotland, exhausted in body but refreshed 
in spirit, his Foreign Missions Committee sent him 
forth to the great lands of the West, to our cousins 
in the United States and to our own people in the 
colonies now happily confederated as the Dominion 
of Canada. 

The time was not favourable for the kindly recep- 
tion in the West of public men from the old country, 
not even of ecclesiastics. The young Republic was 
then very sensitive to criticism. Its generous enthusi- 
asm for the men and the causes which were hallowed 
to it by sacred sentiments and old memories, had 
not been met by corresponding sympathy or kindly 
appreciation. Writers like Charles Dickens, Mrs. 
Trollope and even Sir Charles Lyell, represented 
not a few smaller critics unused to travel and innocent 
of the charity as well as breadth of view which 

^t. 48. THE TWO NUNCIOS. 253 

familiarity with men and countries is only now begin- 
ning to give to a race with such imperial responsibili- 
ties as the British. In Dr. Duff: the people of America 
had a very different observer, one who represented 
Asia as well as Europe ; whom India and the East had 
made familiar with the magnitudes, and more than the 
varieties of races and tongues and civilizations, which 
imperialise the republicans of the West ; whom, above 
all, his mission as an ambassador for Christ clothed 
with a charity and fired with a zeal unequalled at 
that time in Christendom. Still, even so, the many 
Churches of the United States might have been justi- 
fied, if not in suspicion, yet in a cold caution towards 
the ecclesiastical orator. For they had just been 
sorely tried, grievously deceived, by an Italian notable, 
who came with all the powers of the papal nuncio. 
With letters from the Pope and Cardinal Antonelli, 
Monsignor Gaetano Bedini, Archbishop of Thebes, 
Apostolic Nuncio to Brazil, had taken the United 
States on his way. He fared well, as a curiosity at 
least, even among those who were not of his rite, until 
some of the Italian refugees from his torturing per- 
secution at Bologna revealed who he was. His own 
Church, resenting his attempt at interference, joined 
in the hue and cry which rendered it expedient to 
smuggle the nuncio on board a steamer bound for 
Cuba. Mr. George H. Stuart did not do an altogether 
popular thing when he, for three years, gave Dr. Duff 
no rest until the missionary, whose powers of reproach 
and satire in his Master's cause had not been forgotten 
since the Exeter Hall oration of 1836, crossed the 
Atlantic. But he whom not a few feared as likely to 
appear another Bedini, proved to be a second White- 
field. " No such man has visited us since the days of 
Whitefield," was the cry of the crowd which waved to 
the Scottish missionary as he left them, their farewells 

254 Ll¥E 0F Dja » DUFF. 1854. 

from the wharf at New York. " What a contrast is 
this to the departure of Bedini ! " was what many 

Dr. Duff shall himself tell much of the story of his 
travels and his toils, in such portions of his letters 
to his wife as may now be published. These present 
a strange contrast to the newspaper records of the 
tour, which from the Hudson to Chicago, Detroit to 
Montreal, and back to Boston and New York aofain, 
became a triumphal progress as described in the re- 
ports and criticisms of American journalists. If, 
whenever he sailed, or made long journeys, the mis- 
sionary became the victim of storm and tempest, of 
the extremes of heat and cold, we must reflect that 
his busy life and ardent nature forced him to travel 
generally at the wrong season, alike in East and 

"Steamer c Africa/ mouth of the Hudson River, 

13th February, 1854. 

" Wherever I wander, wherever I roam, I feel 
that my first note is due to you, the companion of 
so many of my wanderings, and the associate of 
my joys and sorrows for well-nigh a quarter of a 
century. It is with no ordinary feelings of gratitude 
to God I now sit down in the saloon of the steamer 
to notify that, after one of the longest and most 
boisterous passages ever experienced by the great 
Atlantic steamers, our anchor has just been cast 
within the bar at the mouth of the Hudson River, 
within an hour and a half steaming of New York. 
Our pilot came on board about an hour ago, and had 
we an hour or two more of daylight we should this 
night be lodged on the American shore. But the fog 
and mist have so settled down upon us that, despite 
the moon, our pilot cannot venture up the river. But 


truly thankful all are to be snugly and quietly anchored 
here to-night, after such a tremendous and almost 
unprecedented tossing. Had not our vessel been 
perhaps the strongest built and most powerful in 
machinery on the line, instead of being here this 
evening we should either have been not half way as 
yet, or in the bottom of the deep. 

" And what a memorable anniversary is this night 
to you and to me — the night of our shipwreck on 
Dassen Island ! And how strange the coincidences as 
to time ! On the morning of the 14th February, 1830, 
we landed on Dassen Island as forlorn fugitives from 
the awful wreck. On the 14th February, 1840, we 
landed at Bombay, after our severe tossing in the 
Arabian seas ! And, if spared till to-morrow morning, 
I shall land on the 14th February, 1854, on the shores 
of the New World, the refuge land of the Pilgrim 
Fathers ! That 14th of February seems to be a day 
of peculiar eventuality in my life. . . 

" We started beautifully from Liverpool at 11 a.m. 
on Saturday, 28th January. A little after lunch the 
vessel got out of the sand-banks of the Mersey into 
the Irish Channel, where there was a strong breeze, 
and a chopping, jumbling sea. I soon sickened as 
usual, and had to lie down. For two or three days 
I was conscious only of my misery — an awful sensi- 
bility of uneasiness and pain without power of read- 
ing or even thinking. The weather night and day 
continued in its stormiest mood. After having lain 
for upwards of three days like a dead log, unable to 
lift my head, I contrived on Wednesday, 1st February, 
to get up for a little into the saloon. On Saturday 
forenoon, the 4th, the captain predicted a gale before 
evening. Towards evening the gale came ahead with 
almost resistless fury. The vessel, capable of moving in 
ordinary water at the rate of thirteen or fourteen miles 

256 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

an hour, struggled like a giant against the gale, 
making only about a mile or mile and a half an hour. 
The motion was such as I never remember to have 
experienced. Such pitching and rolling — such hori- 
zontal tremors and perpendicular quiverings — such 
creaking, cracking, and doleful straining sounds — such 
thumpings of the waves like the noise of artillery, 
now on one side, and now on the other, as they broke 
over her bulwarks, and momentarily submerged her 
mighty hull in the surging waters ! Sleep that night 
was out of the question. At the height of the gale, 
about midnight, our danger was most imminent ; but 
towards morning the gale began to abate, that is, 
towards the dawn of the day of hallowed rest. Still 
it continued to blow what the sailors call ' half 
a gale,' and the spectacle of sea one mass of boil- 
ing foam rolling in mountains, was grand beyond 

" Being most anxious to remember the Sabbath- 
day to keep it holy I got into the saloon, and by the 
captain's ready permission held a short service there, 
most of the male passengers being present (the ladies 
unable) with the servants, etc. I read the 107th 
Psalm, and made some remarks on a passage in Isaiah 
with prayer. It was with difficulty we contrived to 
sit, on account of the fearful motion. But the exertion 
did me good in many ways, and I thanked the Lord 
for the opportunity of testifying to His goodness and 
grace amid the wonders of the deep. The weather 
continued very stormy, and the cold increased at 
the same time. On Monday and Tuesday, snow, hail, 
and sleet with a turbulent sea and strong head winds. 
On Tuesday forenoon (7th), the captain predicted 
another gale ; and it came, if possible, more severely 
than before. It looked at one time as if the vessel 
could not possibly survive it. But it pleased the Lord 


still to spare us. On Wednesday, though the paroxysm 
of the gale was over, it blew almost furiously all 
the day, with snow. On that night the thermometer 
fell to 16°, and on Thursday morning the spectacle 
presented by the vessel was most extraordinary. 
Though it still blew hard, the sky cleared with intense 
frosty air, exhibiting the ship as if one huge mass of 
ice. The decks were covered with it several inches 
thick, the ropes, spars, and rigging; the boats and 
paddle works ; the masts up to their summits with 
the sails — all, all incrusted in ice from two to six 
inches thick ; while in the fore-part, where the spray 
was greatest, there was an accumulation of ice two 
or three feet thick over the whole woodwork of the 
vessel, within and without. The captain remarked 
that if ours had been a sailing vessel, we should now 
be utterly helpless, as not a sail could be used nor a 
rope handled ; in fact, she would float like a log alto- 
gether unmanageable, at the mercy of the winds and 
waves. The quantity of ice thus formed may appear 
from the fact, that by its weight the vessel lay nine 
inches deeper in the water than she would otherwise 
have done ! Of course all hands were set to work with 
hatchets, mallets, and other instruments to break up 
as much of the ice as possible, and throw it overboard. 

" This morning, Monday 13th, for the first time 
since we left old England, a comparatively smooth sea, 
with a gentle favourable breeze ! We all felt the 
change in its reviving influence, and anxiously ex- 
pected this night to be released from our uninterrupted 
tossings. And truly at this moment there is quiet. 
The vessel safely at anchor within the bar — no motion. 
It seems almost unnatural, so accustomed had we 
become to the roar of the ocean waves, the howlings 
of the winds, and the multitudinous sounds of the 
labouring vessel, straining through all her timbers. 

vol. 11. s 

258 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

But to the Lord do I give thanks. He hath brought 
us at last over the stormy billows into a quiet haven. 
Nor has all this trial been in vain. "When down- 
right ill, the mind was utterly incapable of thought ; 
but there were intervals when, in spite of the sicken- 
ing sensations, the mind could variously exercise itself. 
The whole of the past came up for review before me, 
all the way in which the Lord hath led me. And oh, 
how humbling the retrospect as regarded myself! 
The loving-kindnesses of the Lord, how manifold, how 
unceasing ! My own shortcomings in every way, how 
manifold ! At times I felt a burning wish that all my 
past life were blotted out of remembrance, and that 
I might be privileged to begin anew, with a heart 
wholly dead to sin and sense and the world, and wholly 
alive to the Lord in all holiness and devotedness. In 
the end I had no consolation whatever but in clinging 
as with a death-grasp to the precious assurance that 
the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin. 

" In the multitude of my thoughts I was often 
with you and the dear boys, and was led intensely to 
agonize in prayer for you all. And then I wondered 
why I was where I was ; whether I was on the path 
of duty, and what the duty might be ! My conclusion 
was, on a review of all antecedents, that I was shut up 
to visit America, though even now I know not what 
the Lord has in store for me there. With this feeling, 
I thought that if never heard of any more, and our 
vessel foundered amid the stormy Atlantic waves, the 
Lord might, in one way or other, overrule my death 
to the good of the souls of the members of my family, 
and raise up friends to them, and insure the further- 
ance of His own cause. On these points I came at 
times to a serene feeling of resignation to His holy 

" But, if spared, oh how I longed to be a new bur- 


nished instrument in His hands. I feel my own un- 
speakable shortcomings. I really know not what I am 
to do, or what I can do in this western realm, towards 
the advancement of the Redeemer's glory. But I now 
find great consolation in this, that I have been brought 
here not to do anything myself, but to gain something 
from the experience of God's people here, which I 
may carry away with me and turn to account some 
other day amid the realms of Gentilism. I wait for 
guidance ; I wait for light in the path of duty ; I desire 
to follow the Lord wherever and however He may lead 
me. Oh, for simplicity, single-heartedness, and self- 
denying devotedness to Him that loveth us ! I burn 
with desire to see the chaff and dross of the old man 
consumed, and for the pure bright shining of holiness 
in the inner and outer man ! 

" ' Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me 
from the body of this death ! ' Would to God I could 
add with emphasis, ' Thanks be to God,' etc. But a 
heart tainted with sin, how is it to be perfectly cleansed? 
It really seems like the tainted cask, which, though oft 
washed and somewhat sweetened, continues to exhibit 
something inodorous and unsavoury still. Bat in the 
end, if faithful unto death, will the last remnant of this 
taint be removed ? Oh, for the rapid diminution of it 
now, that heaven might enter the soul to the entire 
exclusion of earth and its corrupting vanities ! I have 
been writing even on, what has been uppermost in my 
mind, but here I must pause for the present, with a 
prayer for every blessing to rest on you and our 

14th February, 7 a.m. — " Very tantalizing — still at 
anchor, a dense fog preventing our moving. Singular 
the effect of habit. From the literally incessant com- 
plex motions of the vessel for a whole fortnight, when 
I lay down last night the perfect motionlessness 

260 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1854. 

seemed quite unnatural, so much so that I could not 
sleep on account of the deathlike stillness. After 
some broken snatches I was glad at four to hear the 
sound of the capstan in raising the anchor. I instantly 
got up and dressed in the dark. Then up to the deck, 
but sorry to find the dense fog put an end to further 
preparation for onward movement. Got into conver- 
sation with the chief and second officers. With the 
latter I had often spoken before, he being a member 
of Lunelle's congregation at Birkenhead. With the 
former I had no previous opportunity, but found him 
an intelligently religious man, who had read much and 
thought much. He had also been in Calcutta, and 
had read the Memoir of Mahendra, for whom he cher- 
ished sentiments of admiration. Strange how things 
come about ! Our chief talk was on the ingredients 
of vital spiritual religion — real heart religion — as con- 
tradistinguished from formalistic mechanical outside 
religion. And a more edifying conversation I have 
not had with any one for many a day. . . 

" I am full of anxieties, in spite of every effort to 
cast the burden of my cares upon the Lord. Quite 
refreshed at the same time by reading a portion of the 
119th Psalm. Precious is that blessed word ! It is 
divine authority transfused with tenderness and love. 
What would the world be without it ? a creation with- 
out a sun. 

15^ February, 10 a.m. — " Instead of being at New 
York yesterday forenoon as we expected, we are here 
for the last half-hour stuck fast ten feet deep in a 
mud-bank, within three miles of our destined haven. 
How notable the probationary ways of God ! Yester- 
day up to noon the fog was so dense that nothing 
could be seen. The entrance to this river is somewhat 
like that to the Mersey, the Thames, or the Ganges. 
That is, for about eighteen miles out seaward there 

JEt. 48. IN THE HUDSON. 26 1 

are endless sand-banks and shallows. For large vessels 
like ours there is but one channel, and that a very 
intricate zigzag and narrow one winding through 
the sand and mud-banks. In the case of the Mersey 
and Ganges, where there are similar intricacies, there 
are so many buoys and floating lights that a skilful 
pilot could steer his vessel through even a dense 
fog. Not so here. In such a port as that of New 
York it is scandalous, it is scandalous to think of the 
state of things. For about nine miles there are only 
three small stake-looking objects visible above water, 
and in a fog not visible beyond a few hundred feet. 
About noon the fog cleared a little and one of these 
stakes was seen. Our vessel soon moved on a little, 
until she fairly grounded on a sand-bank, striking upon 
it, though not very heavily, several times. By backing 
the engines she was ultimately moved off. Night 
came on, and she anchored in water so shallow that 
she barely floated — drawing as she does even now, 
after consuming a thousand tons of coal, 18 feet. 
As the tide ebbed she again grounded, and was 
aground altogether from midnight till about seven this 
morning. What an anxious night to captain and all 
on board ! Happily the wind was light, otherwise had 
there been a heavy sea, or a strong wind, or a gale 
such as we had at sea, she must have proved quite a 
wreck before morning. From the peculiarity of the 
motion, I felt all night that we were aground; and 
very wakeful at any rate. Meditation took all my 
sleep away. Up between three and four to see what 
was to be done. 'This,' said the captain, 'is worse 
than all our gales on the passage.' About seven this 
morning, as the tide rose, the vessel was at length 
extricated from the sand-bank. All felt unusually 
joyous. At last how we were gladdened when we 
came close to Staten Island on the left — the first 

262 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

American house we saw crowning its not lofty but 
pleasantly wooded land. . . Soon after we got 
to the deck after breakfast, the ship proceeding full 
speed, she plunged into a mud-bank ten feet deep ! 
Instantly the engines backed, but though plying their 
utmost energy, no effect on the position of our noble 
vessel. Here she is fairly stuck; and the captain 
says he will have to discharge the whole of his cargo 
here, and then get steamers to tug her off ! Mean- 
while he has sent for a small steamer to take off the 
passengers and their luggage. For that steamer we 
are now anxiously waiting. The Lord send us deliver- 
ance in His own time and way." 

"New York. A. little past noon, February 15th. — 
With heartiest thanks to God I now record the fact of 
my arrival in this great city. The small steamer did 
come to take off passengers and luggage and mails. 
At the wharf, Stuart of Philadelphia, his brother of 
this place, and the Rev. Mr. Thomson, one of the 
Presbyterian ministers, were waiting to welcome me ; 
and what a right hearty and joyous welcome they did 
give ! It really made one weep for very gratitude and 
joy. I now found the advantage of my being the 
bearer of the Government despatches. It gave me 
precedence before all others, and as to luggage it was 
hurried through in a few minutes, while that of the 
passengers was subjected to a painfully minute exami- 
nation. First we were driven off to Mr. Thomson's, 
though Mr. Stuart and his brother had expected me; 
and now in my own bedroom — large and airy — I am 
writing the conclusion of a long letter. . . The 
captain and officers declared they had never made such 
an uninterruptedly stormy passage. And then our 
very critical position yesterday and last night had a 
strong wind risen ! 


" The only thing that really distresses me is that 
they are already publishing all manner of extrava- 
gancies about me in the newspapers. The natural 
tendency of all this on my spirit is to paralyse it, as 
the glory is too much taken from the Creator and 
bestowed on the creature. This is sinful, and the 
holy and jealous God will not allow it, but blast the 
whole with the mildew of His sore displeasure. Oh 
for grace, grace, grace ! Pray for me, oh pray ! " 

"Philadelphia, 1st March, 1854. 

" . . Time is absorbed more than ever in this 
land of ' Go-a-headism ' in all things. But no ! I 
must qualify this somewhat by adding, except perhaps 
pure, simple, genuine, unsophisticated spiritual religion. 
For, though there is such religion here in individual 
cases, I begin to fear that, as to its prevalence and 
extent, America is not going ahead of the old country ; 
still, I must not be judging prematurely. 

" We landed here in the most terrific snowstorm, 
and in a perfect hurricane of wind and drift. Nothing 
like it here, they say, for more than twenty years. 
And happy we to have got in at all on that awful 
night. Other trains from the west, etc., got fairly 
embedded in snow-wreaths; and for a day or two, 
passengers shut up in them, incapable of being 
extricated ! Their trials and sufferings you may con- 
ceive. Half an hour later, and we too should have 
been detained in the drift all night. Thanks, then, 
be to God for our safe arrival ! I sent a paper which 
would show you what sort of a reception we met 
with here. It is still to me like a vision of the night 
or an ideal dream. I knew that Mr. Stuart, in his 
zeal and warm enthusiasm, meant to invite a few 
friends to meet me in his house ; but in such a tempest 
I concluded that not one could venture out. Wearied 

264 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

and fatigued with the long journey and detention in 
the snow, and the foul air in our carriage — one of the 
long American kind — crammed with passengers, the 
tempestuousness of the weather not admitting of a 
single chink or crevice being opened, I concluded, as 
a matter of course, that, almost immediately on arrival 
I would be enabled to retire to my bedroom for repose. 
Judge then of my surprise, my downright astonish- 
ment, when, on entering the spacious house, I was 
told that between sixty and seventy ministers were 
waiting to welcome me — then, between ten and eleven 
o'clock at night, and such an awful night of storms ! 
— Episcopalians, Presbyterians of every school, Con- 
gregationalists, Methodists, Baptists, Dutch Reformed, 
in short, all the evangelical ministers of every church 
in Philadelphia and its neighbourhood ! Never was 
there such a gathering of ministers in this city be- 
fore, on any occasion or for any object. No wonder 
though I stood in dumb amazement, wondering what 
all this could mean. To each one of those assembled 
I was introduced, and from each received such a hearty 
shake of the hand, and such a cordial welcome in 
words, that I could do nothing but show the fulness 
of my heart and choked utterance by the earnest look 
and tearful eye. After the salutations were all over, 
the company retired to the dining-room, where a long 
table was laden with a magnificent collation of all 
manner of luxurious things — fit for the entertainment 
of an Asiatic prince. I was requested to ask the 
blessing ; since, as worthy Mr. Stuart said, * all were 
anxious to hear the sound of my voice.' After 
collation all again retired to the drawing-room, 
when one of the ministers in the name of the rest, 
in a neat, warm address, welcomed me to America; 
and Dr. Murray, better known as ' Kirwan/ followed 
it up with some notices of his meeting with me at 


Exeter Hall and Belfast Assembly. Mr. Stuart him- 
self stated how he was present at my opening address 
as Moderator of our Assembly. Then a chapter of 
the Bible was read ; and a bishop of the Episcopal 
Methodists prayed — oh, how sweetly and earnestly ! 
— it pierced my very heart. 

" A little past midnight this remarkable party broke 
up, amid the hurricane raging outside. Some of 
them, as they told afterwards, were hours before they 
reached their homes, though not above a mile or two 
distant, buffeted by the tempest and up to the 
waist in snow. How can I portray my commingled 
feelings when I retired towards one o'clock to my 
couch of repose ! It is impossible. Such a reception, 
so new, so peculiar, so unprecedented, what could 
it mean ? With one or two exceptions, not one of 
the assembled ministers had ever seen my face in the 
flesh. And yet, as each one shook hands with me, he 
spoke as if J were an old familiar friend ; as if he 
knew all about me, and hailed me as a brother in the 
Lord. Never before was any minister or missionary 
of any denomination so received and so greeted in this 
part of the world, nor in any other that I have ever 
heard of. What could it all mean ? I was lost in 
wonder, adoring gratitude and love. I approached 
these shores with much anxiety, in much fear and 
trembling. 1 felt an oppressive uneasiness of spirit 
which I could not shake off. My only refuge was 
in casting myself wholly on the Lord, and in praying 
that His will might be done, and His alone. That 
I might realize myself as absolutely the clay, and He 
my potter, to shape me, mould me as He willed, and 
breathe into me and through me what He willed. 
Surely, I felt, this unparalleled reception must be a first 
smile of Jehovah. Who but He, by His Holy Spirit, 
could have breathed into such diversities as were 

266 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

present then, such a unity of feeling, and sentiment, 
and goodwill towards a total stranger — and that 
stranger not a noble, or statesman, or man of literature 
or science, or discoverer, or ex-governor like Kossuth, 
but merely a humble missionary to the heathen. 
One thing I have rejoiced in, and that is, that the 
Lord enabled me to remain faithful, in adhering to my 
post in heathen lands, in upholding the work of 
evangelization as the greatest work on earth, in thus 
honouring the Lord in connection with that cause, 
which though despised by the world is the highest 
and noblest in His estimation : and could this be a 
realization of the promise, ' Them that honour Me, 
I will honour ' ? I then trembled, lest this might be 
a proud thought instilled by Satan, and prayed that 
my sense of personal nothingness might be deepened 
and deepened, until it became too deep for Satan ever 
to fill it up again. And in the end, I seemed to feel as 
if in my inmost soul I never had a deeper or humbler 
sense of my own utter unworthiness and nothingness 
than after that astonishing reception. Oh, that the 
Lord may evermore increase the feeling, until from 
the outer sanctuary of earth He call me to the inner 
sanctuary above, where Satan and his wiles cannot 
enter ! 

" On Tuesday forenoon the wind was hushed into 
a calm, but on the streets the snow lay from four or 
five to eight or nine feet deep. The causeways for 
foot passengers were gradually cleared by thousands 
employed in hurling the snow into the main street. 
Vast walls of snow were thus piled up there, that is, 
along the sides of the main streets, choking up the 
narrower ones altogether, and rendering them utterly 
impassable by any vehicle ; and in the broader ones 
leaving the middle part with three or four feet of snow 
on it. Then the sleighs were all put in requisition, 


sleighs of all shapes and sizes — smaller ones with one 
horse carrying one or two, larger ones with many 
horses carrying numbers. And as they made no 
noise in the snow, the horses were covered with small 
bells, which kept up a jumbling and interminable 
tinkling of bells all over the city. 

" The hall where the first meeting was to be held is 
the largest in Philadelphia, holding, when full, between 
three and four thousand people. All were to be ad- 
mitted by tickets ; of these about a thousand had 
been privately distributed among the most influential 
families in the city, in order to ensure the presence 
of those whose presence it was our object to ensure. 
The rest were disposed of in the ordinary way by book- 
sellers to the first comers. But, tempestuous though 
the weather was, thousands applied for tickets who 
could not get any. This proved that there would be a 
crowded meeting. And so it was. On Jbhe platform all 
ministers of all churches were present. Dr. Murray made 
an admirable introductory address. The manifestations 
of enthusiasm on the part of the audience took me 
utterly aback, because I had been warned that an Ameri- 
can audience was always sober, stern, sedate — the very 
contrast of an Exeter Hall audience — never exhibiting 
any of those noisy symptoms, either of approbation or 
disapprobation, that are usual in the ' Old Country,' as 
Great Britain is always called here. On this account 
I was astonished at the outburst of applause, when Dr. 
Murray stepped forward to take me by the hand and 
welcome me, in the name of that great audience, to 
American hearts and hearths and homes. The rounds 
of applause were repeated again and again. This 
made me feel that the people were animated by some 
unusual emotion, and I prayed the Lord more fervently 
than ever to guide me in what I should address to 
them. The outline of what I said has been reported 

268 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1854. 

in the newspapers, consisting of things new and old, 
but all new to the audience. The manner in which 
the whole was received astonished me utterly. I was 
utterly unconscious of saying anything new, or any- 
thing remarkable — and yet the interpolations of the 
reporter about c applause,' can convey no idea what- 
ever of the enthusiasm with which all was received, 
and especially the concluding parts, which were new 
to myself and called forth entirely by the enthusiasm 
of the audience. When I alluded to America and 
Britain shaking hands across the Atlantic as the 
two great props of evangelic Protestant Christianity 
in the world ; and to America's not standing by and 
see the old mother country trodden down by the 
legions of European despotism, whether civil or re- 
ligious, you would have thought that all the winds 
in the cave of ^Eolus had been let loose, and that 
the great audience was convulsed, and heaved to and 
fro in surging billows, like the Atlantic Ocean in a 
hurricane. Nothing like such a scene had ever been 
witnessed here before at any religious meeting what- 
ever. I could not but have an intense impression 
that the Lord had greatly more than answered all my 
prayers, had greatly more than rebuked my fainting 
unbelief, had greatly more than exceeded my utmost 
hopes or wishes, or even imaginations. I retired more 
than ever lost in wonder and amazement, praising and 
magnifying the name of the Lord. 

Wednesday, 22nd. — "A stream of visitors inquiring 
for me the whole day long, from early morn till late 
in the evening. In the middle of the day Mr. Stuart 
got a nice sleigh and drove us over all the city, the 
day being dry and cold. It is an easy and most 
delightful mode of travelling. At 9 p.m. went to a 
prayer-meeting of ministers and office bearers, where 
fresh greetings awaited me. 


Thursday. — "More visitors than ever throughout the 
day. In the evening attended and spoke at the anniver- 
sary of the Sabbath Observance Society. From what 
was then said, it appears that they have here the 
very same difficulties to contend against that we have 
in the old country. 

Friday. — " Went this day to inspect some of the 
public institutions. Visited ' Independence Hall,' in 
which the leaders of the Revolution in 1776 signed 
the declaration of American independence, by which 
they were declared rebels and traitors against the 
British Monarchy; this led to the war, which ter- 
minated in 1784 in their favour. The hall is almost 
idolized now. Went through the Mint of the United 
States, which is in this city and in which most of 
the California gold is prepared for use ; the Colonel 
at the head of it very kindly going round himself, 
and explaining all the varied processes, some of 
them exquisitely beautiful. Visited Bible and Tract 
Depositories, etc. ; met with some of the religious 
committees or boards, who assembled purposely to 
confer with me, to explain their operations, and re- 
ceive any suggestions which I might offer. I felt very 
humbled indeed, in my own mind, to think of the way 
in which these experienced sages were pleased to 
listen to anything and everything which I was led to 
remark. It was still the sensible presence of the 
Lord with me. In the evening met a huge party of 
friends at the house of one of the leading ministers : 
very profitable, but after the day's inspections and 
talkings, fearfully fatiguing. 

Saturday. — " No cessation of the stream of callers. 
Went, under the guidance of a minister and layman of 
great intelligence, to visit the coloured Refuge, or that 
for Negro children. Greatly gratified by its industrial 
and scholastic departments ; — then the famous Peni- 

27O LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1854. 

tentiary, the first ever erected on what is called the 
separate system ; that is, every prisoner has a separ- 
ate room for himself or herself, with some work to 
do, such as weaving, shoemaking, carpentry, with no 
possibility of communicating with one another. The 
arrangement of the compartments is so contrived 
that, on Sabbath, all the prisoners in one wing may 
hear sermon without seeing the chaplain or seeing one 
another. I entered many of the cells and conversed 
freely with the solitary inmates. Everything was 
clean, cells well ventilated, with a small outer court 
attached to each, in which each prisoner can take 
exercise in the open air, without any intercourse with 
his fellows. Altogether, it was the finest prison con- 
trivance I had ever seen, though Pentonvilie in Lon- 
don is, I believe, constructed very much after its 

Sabbath, 26th Feb. — " The evening of this day, 
preached in the great ball in which I lectured on Tues- 
day, as being the largest place. Other evening services 
of a stated kind having been given up, all the minis- 
ters were there ; and long before six o'clock the place 
was crammed. The platform gallery was so crowded 
that it yielded considerably ; and great apprehensions 
were entertained that it would give way altogether, but 
the Lord mercifully spared us in this respect. From 
the crowd so long congregated there, the ventila- 
tors not having been opened and the steam flues 
having been heated beyond ordinary, the atmosphere 
was quite dreadful before I began. It was like en- 
countering the steaming heat of Bengal in September, 
without free circulation of air and without a punkah ! 
Besides ministers many of the leading citizens were 
there, some of whom are seldom seen in any place of 
worship. The awful state of the atmosphere compelled 
me to abbreviate, but the Lord greatly strengthened 


me. The people were obviously affected. May impres- 
sions be lastingly sealed home on souls ! Went home 
drenched, to pass a restless, sleepless night. 

Monday, 27th. — " Saw and conversed with many 
of the conductors and agents of religious and other 
societies. Visited, in the centre of the city, a district 
as low, sunken and debased as the worst parts of the 
Cowgate of Edinburgh, or the wynds of Glasgow, or 
the St. Giles of London. Some days before a depu- 
tation of ladies called on me to tell me of their 
society and its operations, in the attempt to bring the 
Gospel to the door of the outcast population. They 
said their anniversary was to be held on Monday 
evening, and wished me to speak at it. I did not 
promise, as I could not calculate on my strength. 
But on Monday afternoon I went with Mr. Stuart 
and Mr. Thomson, of New York, and one of the city 
missionaries, to visit a portion of the wretched dis- 
trict. We entered many of the awful dens — some 
underground, with darkness made visible by a few 
half-mouldering cinders, and heaps of rags and bones 
and filth all around; some up stairs like broken 
ladders, and trap- doors, with similar accumulations, 
in the midst of which men and women and children, 
filthy, haggard, savage-like and drunken, lay cursing 
and blaspheming. Anything worse I have not seen, 
even in London. And of this description -there are 
many thousands in this Philadelphia, — this city of 
brotherly love ! All this was quite new to me ; I had 
never read or heard of such scenes in these regions 
of the west. Such vileness, such debasement, such 
drunkenness, such beastliness, such unblushing shame- 
lessness, such glorying in their criminality, such 
God-defying blasphemousness ; in short, such utter 
absolute hellishness I never saw surpassed in any land, 
and hope I never will. Indeed, out of perdition, it is 

272 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

not conceivable how worse could be. We all got 
sickened in body and in spirit. After what I saw and 
heard and smelt and handled, I felt stirred up in spirit 
to address, if possible, the evening meeting. More 
especially did I feel called on to speak, since I was 
told that no general interest was manifested by the 
community in the effort to raise these sunken masses. 
It had also, contrary to my permission, been an- 
nounced that I was to speak. A large and crowded 
audience were thus assembled. As the thorough work 
of 'territorial' excavating seems all but unknown here, 
I tried to explain our Scottish system of operation, 
as exemplified by Chalmers and Tasker in the "West 
Port, and went into many details and appeals. 
The Lord manifestly was there with His presence. 
From all I have heard since, an interest has been 
awakened in the work here that is altogether new, 
and will, it is believed, never die out until the masses 
of the outcast be reclaimed. It was delightful to be 
able thus to harmonise the home and foreign mission 

Tuesday, 28th. — " This morning, a deputation from 
the ladies came to thank me for the preceding even- 
ing's address, with written note of thanks from the 
managers. In the evening, met the elite of society 
here, at the house of a Mr. Milne, originally from 
Aberdeen — a very flourishing manufacturer on a great 
scale here. Some two hundred were assembled. After 
much conversation, and the supper collation, I was 
asked to favour the party with some account of the 
rise and progress of our Mission in Calcutta. This 
I supplied, all seemingly interested exceedingly in the 
statement. It was near one this morning before I got 
home. To-day I was to have proceeded to Princeton 
College, but this morning felt so poorly after such a 
long run of uninterrupted excitation — physical and 


mental and moral — that I could not move. Thrice 
I tried to dress; and thrice, in sheer despair, I was 
obliged to retire to bed. I now feel better. And 
having shut myself up, from necessity, in my bed- 
room, I have betaken myself to the writing of letters. 
You may say, Why allow yourself to be done up in 
this way ? Indeed, I have fought and struggled and 
toiled to prevent it. But all in vain. The kindness 
of these people is absolutely oppressive ; their impor- 
tunity to address here and there and everywhere so 
absolutely autocratic, that I am driven, in spite of 
myself, to do more than I know I can well stand. 
Bad as the state of things in Scotland was in this 
respect, it is ten times, yea, a hundred times worse 
here. Here the applicants are legion, and their din- 
ning impetuous as the Atlantic gales. Ministers in all 
directions ask me to preach for them ; committees of 
all sorts, of a religious, philanthropic, or missionary 
character, do the same ; managers of schools entreat 
me to visit and address their pupils : young men's 
associations and all manner of nondescripts beleaguer 
me. Indeed, if I could multiply myself into a hun- 
dred bodies, each with the strength of a Hercules and 
the mental and moral energy of a Paul, I could not 
overtake the calls and demands made upon me, here 
and from many other quarters, since my arrival. The 
necessitated confinement of this day, however, is a 
seasonable lesson ; and I must set on a face of flint 
in resisting aggression beyond what I am able to bear 
or encounter. All very delightful, if one had the 
needful strength. But no strength of no man that 
ever lived could stand out all this. They little know 
how much more painful it is to me to be obliged to 
refuse than it would be to comply. As regards this 
place, I have abundant satisfaction in already know- 
ing that I have not come here in vain. 

vol. n. T 

274 I'IFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

"Though I have spoken nothing but what has long 
been familiar to my own mind, I have evidently been 
led to speak much that was new to most people here. 
Last evening this one came up to me and thanked me 
for the announcement. and exposition of one principle, 
and another for that of another, and so on in dozens. 
It looked as if a flood of new principles had been 
poured in upon a dry or empty reservoir. Several 
openly declared that if I should do nothing more in 
the New World than what had been done already in 
this place, it was more than worth my while to have 
crossed the Atlantic in order to achieve it. An im- 
pulse, they said, has been given to the cause of vital 
religion and personal piety, as well as the cause of 
home and foreign missions, such as has never been 
imparted before — an impulse which, through the press 
and the correspondence of individuals, will vibrate 
through the whole Union. Well, well ; to the Lord 
be all the praise and the glory ! Amen. That this 
can be no mere empty talk seems evident from the 
way in which the entire press here, alike secular and 
religious, has treated of these meetings and their 
results. I do desire, therefore, to thank God and take 
courage. Oh, for more grace, more living spirituality, 
more faith, more wisdom, more entire self-forgetting, 
self-consuming consecration to His cause and glory ! 

" Men of weight and note in this community are 
already pressing upon me the duty of not returning 
to Scotland for a twelvemonth — vehemently insisting 
on my having a call from God here, from the effects 
already manifested. Others seriously insist upon it 
that I ought to remain here altogether. Of course, to 
all this my reply is very simple and peremptory; though 
such urgencies show the feeling awakened. Oh, that 
the Lord may strengthen me more and more ! fit me, 
prepare me for all He would have me to be and to do." 


" Elizabeth Town, Friday, 3rd March. 
" Yesterday I came on to this place in New 
Jersey, Mr. Stuart accompanying me. It is the scene 
of the labours of Dr. Murray, the celebrated author of 
" Kirwan's Letters,'* in whose house I am now com- 
fortably entertained. Though far from well I came 
on yesterday, as I had arranged to do so. It was 
professedly for quiet that I came ; but these people's 
notions of quiet seem odd enough. It is all in kind- 
ness ; but this way of showing kindness is quite 
killing. Dinner was early, several friends having been 
invited to meet me, some from New York. These 
latter returned by the six o'clock train. Then came 
pouring in dozens of respectabilities to tea to greet 
me — ministers and laymen with their wives and 
daughters. An incessant talk was kept up till eight, 
when, as many who had come from distances of 
twenty and thirty miles had to return by train, we 
had worship, myself being called on to conduct it. 
By that time I was fairly exhausted, with a racking 
headache. However, I concluded that with worship 
all was ended. And true, most of the visitors with- 
drew ; but to my horror, their withdrawal was only 
the signal for a fresh influx from the neighbourhood, 
until the room was again filled. To me it was a 
real purgatory in my jaded exhausted state. Never- 
theless I strove to hold on till ten o'clock, when 
nature could stand out no longer, and I told my kind 
host I must instantly retire, or literally fall from my 
chair on the floor. So I slipped off at once, with 
sensations all over my body as if I had been pounded 
in a mortar. Now all this is out of respect and kind- 
ness to me. Of course the feeling on the part of 
these strangers I cannot but appreciate, and do ap- 
preciate. But, at this rate, it will soon kill me out- 
right. It is in vain that I complain and protest. 

276 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

There is such an impetuous earnestness about them 
that on they work without a moment's thought as to 

" To-night there is to be a public meeting here ; 
and to-morrow I return to New York, where I have 
some ten days' labour before me. But New York and 
Philadelphia are the two most important cities in the 
Union. Therefore, my chief strength will be devoted 
to them. To other places I can only pay a very hasty 
visit. The weather has been very trying ; and the 
way in which houses are heated here with steam and 
stoves really often sickens me. But my trust is in 
the Lord, that He will direct me and uphold me, and 
enable me to accomplish whatever He hath purposed 
by bringing me hither." 

Of the contemporary American criticisms on the first 
great address in the Concert Hall of Philadelphia this 
was the most discriminating : " Dr. Duff is obviously 
labouring under ill-health, and his voice, at no time 
very strong, occasionally subsides almost into a whisper. 
In addition to this drawback he has none of the mere 
external graces of oratory. His elocution is unstudied ; 
his gesticulation uncouth, and, but for the intense 
feeling, the self-absorption out of which it manifestly 
springs, might even be considered grotesque. Yet he 
is fascinatingly eloquent. Though his words flowed 
out in an unbroken, unpausing torrent, every eye in 
the vast congregation was riveted upon him, every 
ear was strained to catch the slightest sound ; and it 
was easy to be seen that he had communicated his own 
fervour to all ho was addressing. Indeed, while all 
that he said was impressive, both in matter and man- 
ner, many passages were really grand." The excite- 
ment which moved the capital of Pennsylvania was 
repeated in New York on a greater scale, and found 
expression in such journalistic description as this : 


" Two hours before Dr. Duff — and most instructive 
hours they were, not soon to be forgotten. When, 
towards the close of his masterly discourse, we went 
to the front of the gallery (in the Tabernacle) and 
looked at the orator in full blaze, — his tall ungainly 
form swaying to and fro, his long right arm waving 
violently and the left one hugging his coat against his 
breast, his full voice raised to the tone of a Whitefield, 
and his face kindled into a glow of ardour like one 
under inspiration, — we thought we had never witnessed 
a higher display of thrilling majestic oratory. ' Did 
you ever hear such a speech?' said a genuine Scots- 
man near us, ' he cannot stop.' Since Chalmers 
went home to heaven Scotland has heard no elo- 
quence like Duff's. In London he has commanded 
the homage of the strongest minds. . . After a 
quiet, graceful introduction of his theme, founded on 
the missionary teachings of the Scripture, he led us 
across the seas to the scene of his apostolic labours. 
The description was complete. Magnificent India, 
with its dusky crowds and ancient temples, with 
its northern mountains towering to the skies, its 
dreary jungles haunted by the tiger and the hyena, 
its crystalline salt-fields flashing in the sun, its Mal- 
abar hills redolent with the richest spices, its tanks 
and its rice-fields, was all spread out before us like 
a panorama. We saw the devotees thronging in cara- 
vans to the shrine of Jugganath. We heard the 
proud Brahmans contending for the absurdities of 
their ancient faith, which claims to have existed on 
this earth for four millions of years. . . When 
the orator opened his batteries upon the sloth and 
selfishness of a large portion of Christ's followers, his 
sarcasm was scalding on the mercenary mammonism 
of the day. Under the burning satire and melting 
pathos of that tremendous appeal for dying heathen- 

278 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

dom tears of indignation welled out from many an eye. 
We all sat in shame and confusion. I leaned over 
towards the reporters' table. Many of them had laid 
down their pens. They might as well have attempted 
to report a thunderstorm. As the orator drew near 
his close he seemed like one inspired. His face shone, 
as it were the face of an angel ! He had become the 
very embodiment of missions to us, and was lost in his 
transcendent theme. Never before did we so fully 
realize the overwhelming power of a man who is pos- 
sessed with his theme. The concluding sentence was 
a swelling outburst of prophecy of the coming triumphs 
of the Cross. As the last thrilling words died into 
silence the audience arose and lifted up the sublime 
doxology : 

" ' Praise God, from whom all blessings flow ; 
Praise Him, all creatures here below.' " 

Washington next claimed the presence of the mis- 
sionary, and that he reached by way of Baltimore. 
There he preached to Congress, in the hall of the 
House of Representatives, and there he had a pro- 
longed interview with the President. The Speaker sat 
to the left of his official chair, the President, Franklin 
Pierce, to the right. Emblems of mourning for the 
late Vice-President, covering the canopy, surrounding 
the portraits of Washington and Lafayette, and 
" enveloping the Muse of History in her car of Time 
over the central door," seemed to intensify the stillness 
of the dense congregation of public men from all parts 
of the States. The young Republic was, indeed, spread 
before the preacher, as, after devotions led by the chap- 
lain of the Senate and ministers of several churches, he 
spake from the inspired words of Paul to the dying 
Roman Empire : " By one man sin entered into the 
world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all 


men, for that all have sinned." After a day with the 
President, and another at the tomb of George Washing- 
ton, at Mount Vernon, he turned westward, with the 
Rev. Dr. R. Patterson as his secretary and friend, across 
the Alleghany Mountains to Pittsburg in the Ohio 
valley. There he found many Scotsmen and too many 
Presbyterian divisions, since reduced by ecclesiastical 
union. " Proceeding along the singularly beautiful 
valley of the Ohio, with its meadows and groves, and 
cultured plains and rolling wooded hills, by Cincinnati 
and Louisville on to the junction of the Ohio and 
Mississippi ; from that to St. Louis, then northward 
to Chicago, on the Lake Michigan ; thence crossing 
eastward to Detroit I entered Canada, visiting the 
principal places there as far as Montreal, and returned 
by Boston and New York. Holding public meetings 
at the principal places as I went along, everywhere I 
met with the same kind and generous reception." 
Such was Dr. Duff's rapid summary to the General 
Assembly of the subsequent May, of a tour in which 
his voice fairly gave way at Cincinnati, and he was 
careful not to omit Princeton, the centre of evan- 
gelical theology in the West. A letter to Mrs. Duff 
has preserved this record of his experience in Canada. 

" Montreal, 18th April, 1854. 

" Home comes uppermost in my mind when I lie 
down and when I rise up, and oft throughout the busy 
day. By way of a little recreation to my own mind, I 
shall now avail myself of an hour's breathing-time in 
my bedroom, under cold and headache, for noting 
some of the incidents in my campaign. 

Wednesday, 5th April. — " This morning up at day- 
break, to visit the famous Niagara Falls. Reached 
Hamilton, some forty or fifty miles distant, about 
2 p.m. There several friends were waiting for me. 
After a good deal of talk, proceeded to the house of 

280 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

Mr. Isaac Buchanan, the leading merchant of Hamilton. 
This town lies at the head of a small lake, which com- 
municates, by a cut, with Lake Ontario. It lies in a 
hollow of considerable breadth — a rid^e of two or 
three hundred feet high running along the south side 
of the vale, and another along the north. Reaching 
the curl of the southern ridge (called there the ' moun- 
tain ') it does not dip to the south, but shoots across, 
as tableland, to Niagara and Lake Erie. The house is 
elevated on that mountain, whence is a magnificent 
prospect of the Hamilton valley and Lake Ontario. 
There a company of friends had been invited to dine 
with me, and so no rest or pause till we started for 
the public meeting in his church, where I had to ad- 
dress a large and crowded audience. Ministers of all 
denominations were there ; the Established Kirk min- 
ister actually took part in the preliminary devotional 
service ! It was a grand meeting ; all seemed to be 
unusually solemnized. It was past midnight before I 
could retire, worn out, to my bedroom on the moun- 

Thursday, 6th. — " Up in the morning to breakfast 
between seven and eight, as I had to attend a meeting 
of the office-bearers and members of the church at 
10 a.m. This proved a very hearty meeting; but I had 
to address them for nearly two hours. The end was 
that they formed themselves into a regular association, 
after the home model, to raise quarterly contributions 
for our Mission, some dozen and half of the ladies 
present volunteering to act as collectors. Altogether 
it was a very gratifying spectacle and noble result. 
Besides all this, the treasurer put £50 into my hands 
for our Mission, as the result of the collection spon- 
taneously made on the preceding evening. Between 
12 and 1 p.m. went to the railway station to proceed 
to New London, about 100 miles west of Hamilton, 

^t. 48. IN CANADA. 28 1 

towards Lake Huron. We started with a very heavy 
train of between six and seven hundred passengers ; 
and as the first fifty miles west is a gradual ascent, 
we proceeded very slowly. Like all American railways 
it is but a single line, and very recently opened. Well, 
on we went till we passed a small station, some thirty 
miles distant, within half a mile of a town ambitiously 
called Paris. There our engine slipped off: the rail; 
but the steam being instantly let off, and the engine 
happily breaking down, none of the passenger trams 
were overturned, though the shock and collision were 
such as to break the panes of glass in the backmost 
one in which I sat. A second more — yes, a single 
second more, and the whole would have been over- 
turned. What lives then would have been lost ; what 
limbs fractured — it is fearful to contemplate. God 
be praised for the marvellous deliverance ! At that 
wretched little station, with a cold biting frost, where 
neither food nor shelter could be had, we had to wait 
on in expectation of the train from the west. As it 
turned out, it too had met with an accident and so 
was delayed. Meanwhile, another train arrived from 
the east with 300 more passengers. But the rail was 
broken up by our mishap, and so no passage for it. 
Towards dusk the western train came up ; then pas- 
sengers and luggage were reciprocally transferred 
from the eastern to the western train, and about half- 
past 8 p.m. we were afloat again, very weary, cold, 
and hungry! It was between eleven and twelve before 
we reached London. The congregation had assembled 
at seven, waited patiently till half-past nine when a 
telegraph conveyed the news of our disaster, and they 
dispersed. By 1 a.m. I tried to get to rest, praising 
God for His wondrous goodness. 

Friday, 7th. — " Up early to breakfast ; a new circular 
issued, inviting the congregation to assemble at half- 

25 2 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

past ten, and, singular to say, a full church we had by 
that time. As the train was to leave between 1 and 2 
p.m., I went to the pulpit with the watch before 
me, and spoke on till near the train time. From the 
church went to the railway terminus, and proceeded 
eastward. A very fine set of ministers and people I 
met at London ; had no idea of such a noble Christian 
people in such an out-of- the- world place. Several 
ministers and others accompanied me for a dozen miles 
by the rail, as they had seen so little of me ; but the 
exhaustion to me after speaking was really awful. 
And, singular to add, when within three or four miles 
of the place of accident on the preceding day, our 
engine again slipped off the rail, and buried itself in a 
steep clay bank, without (most mercifully) overturning 
the passenger carriages. We had all to get out, climb 
the wet clay bank, and walk about on the crest of it, 
waiting for the arrival of a train from the east. Mr. 
Buchanan, being a leading director of the railway, sent 
on to the next station for an engine. It came ; but, 
after trial, could do nothing for us* Then we got 
into the engine, amid the coal and wood, and posted 
back to the station, the cold (there being no shelter) 
piercing us through and through. My shoe soles had 
also given way, and my feet were wetted. From all 
this I contracted a heavy cold, which has been gener- 
ally oppressing me ever since. At the small, wretched 
station, without shelter or food, we had to wait on till 
nigh midnight before we started, so that instead of 
reaching Hamilton at 6 p.m. on Friday we only 
reached it at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. The Lord 
be praised, we arrived at last, with unbroken limbs. 

Saturday, 8th. — " After a very brief repose, up to 
breakfast at eight ; down to Hamilton to meet with 
friends, at ten ; and at noon on board the steamer 
on Ontario to Toronto, distant about fifty miles. The 

JEt. 48. IN TOEONTO. 283 

wind blew sharp and cold, the lake was rough. At 
Toronto Dr. Burns and a whole legion of friends were 
waiting to receive and shake hands with me. Verily, 
I was not much in a mood for such a greeting. But 
I had to make the best of it. Getting to Dr. Burns's 
house, friends there again, whereas the bed was the 
only proper refuge for poor me. At last I retired, 
well gone, but praising the God of Providence. 

Sunday, 9th. — " Up early to breakfast. Thereafter 
Dr. Burns asked me to address a large class of seventy 
or eighty young females taught by Mrs. Burns. I 
could not decline ; though, with heavy work before 
me, with headache, and cold, and sore throat, I felt it 
rather much. In the afternoon I preached in Kroom's 
church — a very large one, and very awfully crowded, 
passages, pulpit-stairs and all. But, as often before, 
the Lord out of my weakness perfected His own 
grace and strength, and impressions were seemingly 
produced that day which will shoot their results into 
the ages of eternity. At the top of the pulpit- stairs, 
close to my right hand, among other notables, was 
Mackenzie, one of the chief leaders of the rebellion of 
1838, for whose head then our Queen offered a thou- 
sand pounds. He is a very talented man, but a 
notorious scoffer at religion. On coming home Dr. 
Burns expressed his apprehension and belief that Mac- 
kenzie was there only to get materials for a scoffing 
article in a paper of which he is editor. How strange ! 
next morning (Monday) Mackenzie wrote a long letter 
to Dr. Burns, eulogistic in the highest degree. In my 
first prayer I had alluded to the motive that may have 
brought many there, referring to the case of Zaccheus. 
Mackenzie, in his letter, said that Zaccheus-like (he 
is himself a little man) he had indeed gone to church 
that day, and finding no seat in a pew, and no syca- 
more tree to climb, he mounted to the top of the 

284 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

pulpit-stairs, and there was arrested in a way he never 
was before by Divine truth ; and then he entered into 
a long and admiring dissertation on the speaker and 
his subject. Oh, that the Lord may render that one 
of His own arrows sharp in the heart of this once 
arch-foe of His own cause. 

Monday, 1 Oth. — " Up again at eight to breakfast, 
feverish and head aching, with cold and sore throat. 
At 9 a.m. a deputation of ministers and office-bearers 
from the Negro church of Toronto came to me with a 
written address from the congregation, to which I 
endeavoured to reply as suitably as I could. It was 
a warm, hearty and delightful interview. My soul 
yearned in longing over these representatives of poor 
Africa's much injured children, while I could not help 
exulting at the liberty on British soil. Most of these 
and their fellows were once slaves in free America, 
and, as fugitives, became free men the instant they 
touched the British soil. One foot across it, and the 
whole United States are defied to meddle with them. 
Thanks be to God, ' slaves cannot breathe in England,' 
no, nor iu any corner of any British territory all over 
the world ! After the deputation callers began to come 
in. I went again and again to my bedroom for a little 
repose. In vain. No sooner in than rap, rap, rap at 
my door. This important personage and that calling, 
I must see them, and so on to 2 p.m., when we had 
some dinner. At three had to address a class of 
elderly persons. At four had to go to Knox's College 
and address assembled students thereof, with those of 
other colleges united on the occasion, together with 
professors and ministers. Between six and seven went 
home to prepare for a social party at Dr. Burns's. I 
thought there would be a dozen or so ; but lo, some 
six or seven dozen of the notabilities of Toronto came 
pouring in. Of course, after tea I had to address 


tliem for an hour or two. Then supper ; then bed 
about midnight, tying down like a rotten log of wood, 
as nerveless and sapless. 

Tuesday, 11th. — " Up to breakfast with some chief 
personages in the town; a gathering there again, with 
endless talk. Thereafter visited model normal school, 
lunatic asylum, and other public institutions, and 
this one and that one, bedridden or sick, who must 
see me and shake hands. Really it was dreadful, 
considering that the great public meeting was to be 
that same evening. At 7 p.m. the meeting in the 
biggest church of Toronto, crammed to suffocation 
with 3,000 people. Obliged to speak in a stifling 
exhausted atmosphere for nearly three hours, to an 
audience whose attention never for a moment flagged. 
Little knew they, however, at what cost of life-blood 
to the speaker. Home about eleven, and tried, rather 
in vain, to rest. 

Wednesday, 12th. — "Up again, for what? a thing 
of all others most hateful to me — a public breakfast. 
About five hundred ladies and gentlemen were there. 
Of course it was meant as the greatest possible com- 
pliment to me ; but jaded as I was, the very prospect 
of it was agonizing. But being there, what could I 
do but speak again — which I did for an hour, Dr. 
Burns afterwards telling me that it was perhaps the 
most telling of all my addresses ; though when ended 
I could not myself tell what I had said. From the 
breakfast off post-haste to a meeting of presbytery — 
addressing there again. At noon, presbytery and 
other ministers and students, and hundreds of laity, off 
with me to see me on board the steamer for Kingston. 
Kingston, where a son of Dr. Burns is minister, is 
about 180 miles east of Toronto, on the same side of 
the lake. Dr. Burns resolved to accompany me thither. 
As the steamer started the hundreds on the wharf 

2&6 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

took off their hats and gave me three cheers. In fact, 
the whole of the proceedings there were marked by an 
enthusiasm throughout which was quite oppressive. 
At Coburg, about half-way to Kingston, and the seat 
of a presbytery, the steamer was to stop for a few 
minutes, and the captain agreed to remain two hours 
to let me and Burns go on shore, where it was said 
some friends waited to shake hands with me. We 
arrived at 7 p.m.; friends were standing on the wharf. 
I was soon in a carriage and off to the distance of a 
mile, and ushered pell-mell into a church crowded 
and crammed with people, and without delay taken to 
the pulpit, where I had to address the vast audience. 
I went on until the loud tolling of the steamer bell 
warned that it was time to get on board. So about 
half-past nine we hurried on board, and the cabin I 
got into was so cold that I could not change in it ; 
and in this way by morning my own cold was 

Thursday, V3th. — "At six o'clock reached Kingston ; 
cold, sharp, frosty wind ; masses of ice all around. 
The city contains about 12,000 inhabitants; Toronto 
has 40,000, It was once the seat of government, and 
a very handsome and beautiful town it is, with many 
fine stone buildings. During the day visited the 
Castle, the strongest next to Quebec in Canada; on it 
a million sterling has been lavished. Yisited also the 
Penitentiary, with 500 inmates in it, mostly employed 
in trades — carpentry, shoemaking, etc., so that the 
product of the work nearly sustains it. I saw many 
of the chief inhabitants. There, however, popery is 
in the ascendant. At night a great public meeting in 
the city hall; ministers of all denominations there, and 
amonof the rest two or three Kirk or Establishment 
ministers and professors, as their theological college is 
at Kingston. Then an address (written) was delivered 


to me in the name of all the churches. Gave a long 
address in reply. Much heartiness and goodwill, and 
apparent good accomplished, 

Friday, 14lh. — "Up early, as a public breakfast 
was to be encountered at eight o'clock. Had to give 
a long address there again ; and from the breakfast 
hurried into the steamer that was to take me to 
Ogdensburgh, at the east end of the lake, some seventy 
or eighty miles on my way to this place. The one 
thousand islands, as they are called, commence. They 
are of all sizes, from a small one fit only to support a 
few shrubs or trees, up to miles in length. They say 
there are really fifteen hundred of them in all, large 
and small. They are more or less rocky and wooded, 
but not much elevated above the water. In summer, 
when covered with green foliage, they must look very 
beautiful, and a sail through them must be enchanting. 
They want, however, rising grounds or hills beyond ; 
but instead of hills there is a vast flat country on both 
sides. The islands are in the narrows, or where the 
lake gradually narrows into the river. Reached 
Ogdensburgh, on the south or American (New York) 
side of the St. Lawrence, about eleven at night, as 
they had to go slowly on account of the masses of 
floating ice. It was cold, dark, and wet; no vehicle 
to the inn, so the captain advised me to sleep on 
board, which I did. In the morning, after a very 
weary night, rose like a lump of ice, and crushed with 
racking headache. Started by rail at seven for 
Mover's Junction, about one hundred miles due east, 
in the state of New York, and about forty miles due 
south from Montreal. We reached it about noon. 
Messrs. Fraser and Inglis, the Free Church ministers 
of this city, were waiting to convey me thither. It 
was two before we started. About four we reached 
the St. Lawrence, about ten miles west of the city. 

238 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

Montreal is near the east end of a large island, above 
twenty miles long, with a considerably elevated wooded 
ridge along its eastern half called the ' Mountain/ It 
is surrounded by the united waters of the St. Lawrence 
and the Ottawa River, a mighty stream too, which 
comes from the north-west, and combines with the St. 
Lawrence at the western extremity of the island. The 
French called the hill 'Mont Royal,' corrupted into 
Montreal. We crossed the river in a steamer, where, 
from the rapidity of the current, it seldom is frozen 
over ; thence by rail for ten miles to this city of (50,000 
inhabitants — mostly French papists, with rich endow- 
ments and vast establishments, cathedrals, churches, 
colleges, and convents. There Mr. Redpath — whom 
with his wife I met two years ago at Mr. Lewis's 
of Leith, being excellent godly persons — was waiting 
with his carriage to take me to his house about half- 
way up the mountain, along which are many very fine 
gentlemen's residences, and commanding a noble view 
of the city and river and country beyond. I was so 
ill that I had soon to get to bed, but very thankful 
to the kind and gracious Providence which brought 
me under the roof of Christian people. 

Sabbath, 16th. — "About eight, Mr. R. came in to 
see how I was. The moment he looked at me, he 
said, ' You are not fit to preach to-day; and, however 
great the disappointment to us, we dare not see you 
risk your life.' Well, I was so ill with headache, sore 
throat, and oppressed chest, that I was compelled to 
say that I felt unable to leave bed, far less preach. 
So he wrote instantly to Mr. Fraser to notify this. 
I felt much indeed for the latter, but what could I do ? 
I was laid low, and could not do what I was provi- 
dentially disabled from attempting. Poorly indeed all 
day, but most precious and soul-reviving meditation. 
God be praised for the discipline. 

JEt. 48. AT MONTREAL. 289 

Monday, 17th. — "Still much oppressed with the cold. 
It was a fine sunshiny though slightly frosty day. 
At noon we went in the carriage to the river side, here 
all frozen over though two miles broad. Men, and 
horses, and sleighs, and wagons cross it still, the ice 
being the only bridge for four months. Masses fltiat 
down from above, get under the ice, heave it up, and 
thus swell the bulk. Then sometimes vast snow-falls, 
followed by a little rain; then the intense frost binding 
up all in one consolidated icy fabric, the roads cut 
across through the masses of ice. Here now, with 
only occasional bare patches, the whole ground is 
covered with snow three or four feet deep. A large 
company of friends had been invited to meet me in the 
evening. So, poorly as I was, I was obliged to see 
them. I spoke to them, as far as my head and throat 
would allow, for an hour or two. 

Tuesday night, 18th. — " This morning decidedly 
better, though still a sufferer. Kept as quiet as I 
could all day, to be ready for the great meeting in the 
evening. It was a vast one of 3,000 people, densely 
pressed together. The Lord enabled me in my weak- 
ness to speak with more than ordinary unction, power 
and faithfulness. The impressions were evidently 
intense. Ministers and all seemed to be in the dust, 
and with shame confess their past shortcomings. The 
Lord be praised 1 

Wednesday, 19th. — " This morning a great public 
breakfast was given to me, and I had to speak again. 
Hundreds were there, and I saw them so interested, 
that I spoke on and on. No one having moved I was 
unconscious of time, until when I concluded, I looked 
at my watch and found it one p.m. ; I had spoken 
three hours. And though most of them were business 
people not one stirred. They seemed greatly moved 
and impressed, and the varied addresses delivered by 

vol. it. u 

29O LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

several of the number were really thrilling. They 
all thanked me for the faithfulness with which I spoke 
the truth to thein ; declared my visit to be to them an 
{ angel visit;' that I must have been sent by Christ 
the Head to rouse them from their apathy ; that they 
could not now think of the past without shame and 
sorrow ; that they must resolve before God to do 
henceforth what they never did before. It was most 
affecting also. It seemed as if we could never part 
— and such a parting, with many a tear ! It was a 
scene for a painter. God in mercy grant that these 
impressions may be permanent. It is thus ever with 
Kim. He brought me low. This brought my soul into 
closer communion with Himself, and when raised up, 
I spoke like one who had come out from the sanctuary 
after a gracious and glorious interview. Praise be to 
His holy name ! Hallelujah ! Come, Lord Jesus, come 
quickly. Amen. 

" I meant to have gone to Quebec ; but now find I 
cannot — a sore disappointment. Sir Barnes Alexander 
wrote to me from Government House, and other in- 
fluential individuals, pressing me to visit Quebec. I 
fully was bent on going ; but to my grief find that 
the river is not yet open for steamers." 

Dr. Dun turned back to New York, giving up his 
intention of going home by Halifax, Nova Scotia and 
New Brunswick, in order to attend a catholic Mission- 
ary Convention, the first of the kind that had been 
held in the States. Throughout two days, the 4th 
and 5th of May, after fresh addresses in the Broadway 
Tabernacle, to the young men of the city on religious 
education, at various religious anniversaries, and to 
a select circle of its leading men on his own work in 
India, he guided the deliberations on Foreign Missions 
of nearly three hundred evangelical clergymen, from 
all parts of the West. He closed the proceedings with 


a series of practical resolutions which gave a powerful 
impulse and healthy consolidation to the missionary 
churches and societies, and then with a two hours' 
address of high-toned fervour. On the morning of 
Saturday, the 13 th of May, when he was to embark in 
the Pacific for Liverpool, the city bade him farewell. 
The address of St. Paul to the elders of Ephesus who 
accompanied him to the sea-shore, gave the key-note 
to the proceedings. This was the ancient and inspired 
benediction into which the Scottish Missionary burst 
forth at the close, leaving it as his latest prayer for the 
peoples of North America : " May the God of your 
fathers help you ; may the Almighty God bless you with 
every blessing of heaven above, and every blessing 
of the deep below; and may your blessings prevail 
beyond the blessings of your progenitors to the utmost 
bounds of the everlasting hills. May the everlasting 
arms be above and around you. May the eternal God be 
your refuge ; and may it yet be declared of the people 
of this land as it was of old : ' Happy art thou, 
Israel ; who is like unto thee, a people saved by the 
Lord !' Amen and Amen ! And now (here the congre- 
gation rose), the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the 
love of God, the communion and fellowship of the Holy 
Spirit, rest and abide with you, and with all the people of 
this nation, now, henceforth and for evermore. Amen." 
Then, descending from the pulpit, and making his 
way through the crowds who pressed on him to feel 
the grasp of his hand once more and obtain another 
parting word, he passed to the steamer. There, wrote 
Dr. Murray, " the scene defied description. The 
wharf and the noble Pacific were crowded with clergy- 
men and Christians assembled to bid him farewell. 
Many could only take him by the hand, weep and 
pass on. Never did any man leave our shores so en- 
circled with Christian sympathy and affection." The 

292 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1854. 

University of New York enrolled him on its honour 
lists as LL.D. 

He reached Edinburgh just in time to take part in 
the Foreign Mission proceedings of his own Church's 
General Assembly, and to tell Scotland somewhat of his 
experience in the United States and in Canada. Al- 
though he had nowhere pled for money, and had alluded 
to his own special work in India only when pressed to 
do so at social gatherings, a letter was put into his 
hands as his friends left the steamer, containing £3,000 
from New York and Philadelphia. Canada also 
helped, and during his three months' absence Glasgow 
had raised a like sum. Thus was a new college built 
for him and his colleagues in Calcutta, against his 
return eighteen months afterwards. But that was 
nothing to the advantage reaped from his visit by all 
the churches of the West. If the United States are 
doing more for India, as well as for Africa and China 
and dying Turkey, proportionally, than even the old 
mother country, and will in this " aye more and more 
increase," so far as the zeal is to be traced to any one, 
it is due to two men, Adoniram Judson and Alexander 

But now the physical and mental penalty had to 
be paid. Did any man, in any profession and under 
any stimulus, ever spend his whole being as Dr. Duff 
had done, in travel and organizing, in writing and 
speaking, under the extremes of heat and cold, in 
east and north and west ? In the five years, from the 
palankeen journey over Southern India which began 
in the burning heat of 11th of May, 1849, to the pro- 
gress through Atlantic storms and North American 
snows which closed on the 29th May, 1854, in the 
stifling air of Tanfield Hall, Edinburgh, — and all this 
following years of labour in the then unhealthy Cal- 
cutta and a similar five years' experience in Bengal, 

JEt 48. AT MALVEEN. 293 

Scotland and England, — Alexander Duff had lived 
many lives before he was fifty. " Yet not I, but Christ 
liveth in me," was ever the aspiration of his otherwise 
overtasked spirit. 

He had planned to return to India in the autumn ; 
the physicians ordered his careful treatment to be 
followed by absolute rest in the sunny south of Eu- 
rope. Congestion of the brain, inflammation in some 
of the membranes and other affections, the most alarm- 
ing of which was mental prostration from the reaction, 
forbade even Duff to defy the doctors. He was as 
helpless as the day, in Calcutta, when his remon- 
strances availed nothing with Sir Ranald Martin, who 
had him carried on board ship for Greenock. When, 
by the middle of June, he was able to travel by easy 
stages, he went south by Lancaster to Great Malvern. 
The water treatment and regimen were then, and 
there, beginning to attract such cases as his. After 
a time the more serious symptoms subsided, but the 
still exhausted patient suffered from an impaired nerv- 
ous system and blood in the state of anaemia. " Bad 
but hopeful," was still the verdict of the physicians on 
his condition. The first gleam of improvement at the 
end of July led him to reason with them thus — " Let 
me travel slowly to India through Southern Europe, 
and I need not begin work there till February next." 
The plea was in vain ; Major Durand was going, " and 
we may go together as we did twenty-five years ago." 
The Master had immediate service for the sufferer 
even in Malvern. 

All who were like-minded with himself in the place 
and its neighbourhood sought him out. And when by 
August he got the first night of real sleep he had 
enjoyed for five weeks, he began once more to be 
about the Father's business. Among those at Malvern 
under treatment like himself was Lord Haddo, whose 

294 LIFE 0F DR. DUFF. 1854. 

father, the fourth Earl of Aberdeen, was the Premier 
at that time of Crimean "War preparations. How Lord 
Haddo and his wife had become active Christians, 
and how he with his son George had been sent to 
Malvern, is, with much else, told by the Rev. E. B. 
Elliott, * author of the Horce Ajpocalypticce. At- 
tracted to Dr. Duff, first by his book on India and 
India Missions and then by spiritual sympathy, Lord 
Haddo makes this entry in his journal on Sunday, 6th 
August : " Dr. Duff drank tea with me yesterday, and 
we spent together a pleasant evening. He is going to 
make an extensive tour on his way to Calcutta, and I 
promised him letters, among others, to Elphinstone, ,, 
who had been appointed Governor of Bombay. Dr. 
Duff urged Lord Haddo, who had been elected M.P. 
for Aberdeenshire just when told that he must soon 
die, to try a winter in Egypt. " At this critical time 
of trial," writes Lord Haddo's biographer, " Dr. Duff's 
visits were a great comfort to him." He had told his 
wife and his father, on the 11th August, " I wish to 
be considered and spoken of as a dying man ; it will 
assist me in many things." " No words can express 
the intenseness of my sympathy with you under pre- 
sent circumstances," was the response of Dr. Duff to a 
similar communication received when himself exhausted 
by the effect of a vapour bath, and able only to pro- 
mise to see Lord Haddo in the evening. Lady Haddo, 
the present Dowager Countess of Aberdeen, joined her 
husband at once, and with both Dr. Duff read portions 
of Isaiah's prophecy, the 25th and 26th chapters, and 
the 103rd Psalm. " His remarks, and the prayer that 
followed, were always remembered by them after- 
wards." This was the beginning of intercourse valued 

* Memoir of Lord Haddo, in his latter years fifth Earl of Aber- 
deen. Fifth edition, 1869. 


by the noble Gordon family, by Lord Polwarth and 
Lord Balfour of Burleigh, and resulting in the founda- 
tion of a memorial Mission in Natal, to be hereafter 


"Malvern, 19th August, 1854. 

"Dear Lady Baddo, — I was greatly affected by Lord 
Haddo's simple and transparently ingenuous and humble state- 
ment respecting himself and his religious feelings. One 
cannot be too jealous over oneself in so vital a matter ; nor 
exercise too severe a scrutiny into one's motives, or the ground 
of one's confidence. It is, however, a grand thing to re- 
member that, however precious, and however much to be 
desired certain frames and feelings may be, as fruits of the 
Spirit in the soul, and however much these may contribute to 
the enjoyments of a religious life, it is not to these we are to 
look as the foundation of our hopes. Ah, no ! If it were so, 
we should soon be reduced to the servitude of the poor toiling 
serfs of blind superstition. It is to the glorious promises of 
Jehovah, and the finished work of that atoning sacrifice on the 
cross, that we are privileged to look as the only sure and in- 
fallible foundation of all our hopes of real blessedness in time, 
and consummated blessedness through all eternity. With 
earnest prayer that you may be sustained from on high under 
your present sore trial, I remain, yours very sincerely, 

"Alexander Duff." 

On learning that he would not be able to leave 
Malvern in time to accompany Lord and Lady Haddo 
to Egypt, he wrote : 

28th August, 1854. — " This, to my own mind, is a great dis- 
appointment. But what can I say ? A life of probation like 
the present, when realized as such, consists very much of a 
succession of disappointed hopes and blasted plans and pur- 
poses. It is so to put our faith to the test. It is part of the 
furnace heat that is employed by the Divine Refiner to purge 
away more and more of the dross of earthly clingings, attach- 
ments and delights; to bring the soul to look to Him alone as 
the all-sufficient and all-satisfying portion. Oh for the child- 
like confidence to enable us in all our trials to say, ' Even so, 
Father, for so it seemeth good in Thy sight/ " 

296 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1855. 

To Lord Haddo.— 6th September, 1854. — M Truly there is 
no peace except in simple undoubting reliance on the Lord 
Jesus Christ, — in His nil -sufficiency and all-willingness to save 
unto the uttermost all who come unto God through Him. It 
is this faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, realiziug the glory of 
His person as Tmmanuel, and the whole absolute perfection 
of His work consummated on the cross, that removes the 
sense of guilt from the troubled conscience, and leads to a 
thirsting and panting of heart to be conformed to His image. 
Then it is that the gracious influences of the Holy Ghost may 
gradually be felt more and more, in their world-abandoning, 
God-loving results. By looking unto Jesus — the great Sun of 
righteousness — with believing, loving hearts, these hearts of 
ours, under the transforming influence of the Holy Spirit, 
gradually contract somewhat of the Divine nature and likeness. 
A mirror may reflect the glorious orb of the sun, but does not 
itself change its nature so as to become self-luminous. But 
the heart that is renewed by the power of the Holy Ghost not 
only reflects the rays of the Sun of righteousness more and 
more distinctly, but itself gradually is so transformed as to 
become, as it were, self-luminous. It becomes a burnished 
and shining gem or diamond, as it were, from having been a 
mere clod of earth. Oh what a glory is here! What an 
emanation from the cross ! . . I send a little work to your 
address, and it is for your son, whose demeanour when here 
won my heart. May the perusal of it be blessed to his soul ! 
With warmest remembrances to Lady Haddo, I remain, dear 
Lord Haddo, yours very sincerely, 

"Alexander Duff.'" 

The little work alluded to was " The Mirage of 
Life," which he sent to Lord Haddo's eldest son 
George, afterwards sixth Earl of Aberbeen, with this 
inscription : — " From Dr. Duff to the young friend 
who so kindly brought him grapes, at the Willows, 
Great Malvern, in August, 1854." 

Slowly did Dr. Duff's recovery proceed. The be- 
ginning of the winter, however, forced him south even 
from Malvern. After a residence at Bayonne, under 


the care of his wife and eldest son, who had completed 
his medical studies, he turned aside to Biarritz, where 
the winter was spent in seclusion in a mild invigorat- 
ing atmosphere, favourable to the still congested brain. 
His son acted as his physician and his secretary, 
answering the many communications from Great 
Britain and America, and particularly stating, " My 
father's intellectual powers are wholly unimpaired, 
and the substance of the brain is unaffected." After 
Pau and Montpellier, he was able to sail from Mar- 
seilles for Civita Vecchia, so as to reach Rome by 
Easter. There the papal police daily visited his lodg- 
ings, and all his applications for the return of his 
passport were ignored. At last, on appealing to the 
British Consul, he was told, " Go where you please ; 
just say you are an Englishman : Palmerston is in 
power." The wisdom of this advice he often proved. 
At Rome he had a severe relapse. Seeking a region 
of purer warmth at that season, he resolved to sail 
from Genoa to Syria. When at Turin, on his way to 
the port, his spirit was roused by two very different 
but allied movements — the growth of constitutional 
liberty in Piedmont, whicn has since blossomed and 
fruited into a united Italy with Rome as its capital ; 
and a threatened division in the Waldensian Church. 
Of the former he wrote, on the 18th May : " This is 
the only kingdom on the continent that has now a 
really free constitution. The boon of civil and re- 
ligious liberty is felt like a new pulse beating through 
the heart of the whole community, awakening the 
spirit of improvement and enterprise, industry and pro- 
gress in all directions. Hail, then, blessed Liberty ! thou 
genial and prolific mother and nurse of man's noblest 
aspirations and doings. More especially, hail liberty 
of conscience, liberty to seek after, worship, and serve 
the living God in the ways of His own appointment ! " 

298 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1855. 

From the hour that, as a boy, he first read Milton's 
great sonnet, he had been eager to visit the valleys of 
the Vaudois. At La Tour he encountered a deputation 
to the Church from the Irish Presbyterians, and Dr. 
Stewart, of Leghorn, as representing the Free Church 
of Scotland. What they told him made him, in spite 
of his weakness, determine to go on with them to the 
Synod, at which certain fundamental points in the 
constitution of the Vaudois Church were to be dis- 
cussed. " The tyrannies and persecution of centuries 
could not annihilate the martyr Church of the Vau- 
dois," he exclaimed ; " they only bound its members 
together with a cement of increasing tenacity, even 
that of their manifested faith and shed blood. Bat 
now when, for almost the first time in their history, 
full civil and religious liberty has been conceded to 
them, questions of an internal kind have arisen, divid- 
ing men's judgments and alienating men's hearts from 
each other." He mastered these ecclesiastical dis- 
putes ; he saw Dr. Revel, the Moderator, on the one 
side, and the leaders of the other party, and he so 
brought his power of spiritual suasion to bear on them 
that he left the Synod with the grateful assurance that 
he had won the blessedness of the peacemaker. " For 
the first time after a silence of twelve months," he 
wrote to his wife, "my tongue was unstrung in an 
Alpine valley, confronting the assembled descendants 
and representatives of perhaps the noblest race of 
confessors and martyrs which European Christendom 
has yet seen." But the effort and the snow and damp 
of that elevation proved too much. He hurried down 
to Genoa for Palermo, where he hailed an old friend 
in the Consul, whom he had met at the Cape de Verd 
Islands in 1829. Thence by Alexandria he reached 
Bey rout, where he studied the noble American Pres- 
byterian Mission. He crossed the Lebanon by easy 


stages to Damascus, and thence doubled back to Jeru- 
salem, " experiencing nought but benefit from the 
fresh and gentle exercise and the soothing ineffable 
influences connected with everything in * Immanuel's 
land.' " Jaffa was the port of departure for Constan- 
tinople, whence he took steamer to Marseilles again. 
From St. Germain, near Paris, on the 10th of August, 
he reported such an improvement in his condition as 
to add : " Were I an independent man, I would soon 
take the risk into my own hands. Meanwhile, set 
aside by a committee for the recovery of health, I feel 
bound to act with due deference to the views and 
feelings of others." " A great evangelical gathering " 
kept him for a little at Paris, where he had pleasant 
intercourse with Tholuck and Krummacher. He then 
reported himself at Malvern, only, however, to neglect 
the medical injunctions laid upon him, for they con- 
tained this sentence : " A brain like yours would prey 
upon itself if, after acquiring a certain amount of 
power, it was not allowed to exercise it." 

The glorious autumn quiet of an Edinburgh Sep- 
tember was all he could give to his boys, then demand- 
ing a father's personal care more than ever. Along 
with thePev. James Mitchell, of Poona, and the Rev. 
John Braidwood, of Madras, he was commended to 
the guidance and blessing of God by the Presbytery 
of Edinburgh assembled in the Free High Kirk. His 
address, delivered amid the public excitement of the 
Crimean War, contained these passages : 

" The law of the kingdom is that of growth and progress. 
Whether it be in the soul of an individual man, or in the body 
of a collective Church, if we try to arrest its growth and out- 
spreading, or in other words, if we try to keep the good we 
have acquired to ourselves, we shall find that if there be truth 
in the Bible, and faithfulness in the God of heaven, that 
Church and that individual will begin to droop, and wither. 

300 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1855. 

and decay; and finally lose what has been attained to, for 
they are then manifestly fighting against an eternal law of 
God. What is a Mission ? It is an aggressive expedition 
iuto an enemy's territory : and here I may ask, Are not the 
children of this world wiser in their generation than the chil- 
dren of light ? This country is at this moment at war with 
a mighty empire. Suppose you were to send forth your forces 
to occupy some small point of the territory of the enemy, is 
the work done when that portion of the territory is occupied 
at the outskirts ? . . . But is there not a limit to these 
constantly swelling demands ? There is. What is it then, you 
will next ask ? It is that we go on by means of your continu- 
ally increasing support, conquering and still conquering, 
until, by the blessing of God upon the work, there shall be a 
sufficient extent of territory gained from the enemy which may 
itself supply the needful resources in men and means; and 
begin to be self-maintaining and self-propagating too. And 
when once this point of indigenous self-support has been 
reached in a mission, then your hands will be liberated, and 
you may carry your appliances of warfare elsewhere. But I 
insist that, till this point be reached, you must make up your 
minds to the fact, that the very success of your Missions must 
for a time entail increasing expense. This fact you must be 
prepared wisely to meet, and heroically to encounter. It does 
cut one's heart to the quick, — and I have felt it oftener than 
once, — when, with almost infinite toil and suffering, we have 
succeeded in gaining one point, and then another; when it 
pleased the Lord to raise up human agents, one after another, 
waiting to be sent forth ; and when we reported that they 
were ready to enter on the glorious enterprise, to find, that, 
instead of meeting with a prompt, and earnest, and cordial 
response, — rejoicing in our success, under God, and urging us 
to engage these voluntary recruits, and proceed onwards, and 
be outspreading, — the cold, freezing, killing answer has too 
often been, that on looking into the treasury at home, there 
are not means to employ these disciplined soldiers, and that 
we must not take them into our service. In short, you pray 
to God for success upon the labours of your missionaries, and 
when that success is granted, you heedlessly or wantonly fling 
it to the winds ! You, in effect, tell your missionaries, — You 
have faithfully toiled and laboured, and spent your strength in 


bringing souls to God, and in training them for the office of 
evangelists ; but we are resolved that your labour shall be in 
vain, and your strength shall have been spent for nought ! 
Is it not enough to raise the feeling of moral indignation in 
one's soul, when he is dealt with in this manner ? I pray you 
to excuse my plainness of speech. I cannot help it. He must 
be a traitor to his God and to the souls of the perishing, who, 
through cowardice or other similar motive, could be silent in 
such a case as this. I again ask you, then, how long is this 
state of things to continue ? The missions abroad have, 
through God's blessing, wonderfully prospered. Converts 
have been, and are still raised on every hand ; and when we 
find them prepared to go forth on the right hand and on the 
left, as some have already done, are we, instead of being 
cheered and urged to proceed, to be again chilled by the 
warning that we must not employ them, — that we must stand 
still, — and by making no further progress into the realms of 
darkness, must exhibit ourselves a spectacle of derision to 
hellish foes, and of pity and lamentation to the hosts of light ? 
" What, then, are we to be next told, that you are tired with 
success, since it costs more money, and money is not in the 
treasury of the Church ? When I look abroad over Scotland, 
I ask myself, is there not plenty of money there ? Yes; even 
to overflowing ; but it does not find its way into the treasury 
of the Lord. Such being the case, we must come to the 
question of stewardship, and we insist upon it that every 
farthing which God gives to an individual, is a farthing for 
which he must account, as to how and why he spends it ; and 
until that doctrine be enshrined in the soul and conscience, 
we need never expect to have fulness of means. But to me, 
who have had sore travailing and wandering through many 
lands, it has been a matter utterly overwhelming to the spirit, 
when I often saw such redundancy of means in the possession 
of professing Christians, and when I have been told in reply 
to earnest pleadings in behalf of a perishing world, — ' Oh ! 
we have nothing to spare.' How depressing has it been to 
hear this said, and then to look at the stately mansions, the 
gorgeous lawns, the splendid equipages, the extravagant furni- 
ture, and the costly entertainments, besides the thousands 
which are spent upon nameless idle and useless luxuries. It 
was as much as to say to God, the great proprietor, who has 

302 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1855. 

given it all, — r Lord, pray excuse me, as I wish to spend all this 
upon myself, and if I have a little driblet remaining over, after 
I have satisfied myself, I will consent to give that driblet back 
to Thee/ The exclamation has been on my lip, in the hearing 
of such men, — Why, you are treating the cause of Christ much 
as the rich man in the parable treated Lazarus. You are 
driving that cause to the outer gate, and while self is made 
to fare sumptuously in the palace within, clothed in purple and 
fine linen, you leave the cause of Christ to starve outside 
yonder, or to feed on the crumbs that fall from your table, 
while covered with the sores of many a foul indignity. Why 
not reverse the picture in the parable ? Why not bring the 
cause of Christ inside the palace, and array it in royal attire ; 
while wretched self is cast out to famish at the door, rather 
than by pampering it to drag its possessor down to the pit of 
eternal woe ? When I talk in this general way, don't suppose 
that I am not aware that there are individuals who are making 
sacrifices. Thank God, there are many such among you. I 
know not any Church where the proportional number of such 
is really greater than in the Free Church of Scotland. But 
it is not for the most part amongst the wealthiest, — although 
there are precious exceptions there too, — it is chiefly amongst 
the middle and poorer classes. Now then, what ig to be done ? 
What can the committee do ? What but dispense what they 
receive ? This is the current doctrine on the subject. But it 
is the duty of such a committee as ours, not merely to dispense, 
but to create. 

" I did not go forth over the length and breadth of Scotland 
for money alone ; I repudiated the idea ; I aimed at something 
higher and better. I felt in some degree in my own soul, the 
greatness and glory of this enterprise ; and my intense desire 
was to communicate, if I could/ somewhat of the same impres- 
sion throughout the length and breadth of my native land— as 
thousands and tens of thousands can testify — to the souls of 
others, and to tell them what was their duty in this respect. 
Unless an individual be born again, and truly converted to 
God, he can never have any right feeling of heartfelt sympathy 
with the perishing heathen ; and therefore I appealed to the 
consciences of men on the subject of the personal regenera- 

u While I thank God for the considerable response which I 


met witli to my appeals from many of our godly ministers, and 
office-bearers, and general membership, I must say, with 
regard to the Free Church as a whole, that response is not 
what I would wish, or had even reasonably anticipated. What 
was my thought, and that of the other missionaries in India, 
before coming to this country ? We did not expect great 
things for India at the very time you were first engaged in 
this country in raising churches, manses, and schools, but we 
did expect, when these were to some good extent finished, 
that something mighty and worthy of her great name, and 
noble contendings for the Redeemer's Headship, not only over 
the Church but the nations, would be done for the world at 
large. When you were, in the providence of God, driven, as 
it were, out of the old Establishment, for adherence to great 
Bible principles, it was not surely that you might sustain and 
perpetuate the blessings you enjoyed among yourselves alone. 
Was that the only end you had in view ? If so, you would be 
resisting the progress of Christianity, and fighting against that 
Divine law to which I referred at the outset of my address. 
We certainly expected that when the noble vessel then begun 
was finished and launched upon the great deep, it would be 
found directing its course to other countries, and bearing, in 
proportions worthy and commensurate, its rich treasures of 
gospel truth and gospel grace to every region of the earth. 
But, alas, we are waiting for that day yet. When will it 
come ? — that is the question. Looking at it, then, in this 
light, there is, on the one hand, much to thank God for ; but 
there is, on the other hand, much to plead against. Oh, do 
not, I solemnly adjure you, in the name of the living God, do 
not settle down on your privileges ; do not settle down on the 
mere fact that you have fought a great battle and gained a 
great victory ; that you have, as it were, the ark of the 
Covenant, the ark of the living God, with its priceless Jewel, 
the Headship of the Redeemer, in your keeping ; — for if, in 
the spirit of indolence or contracted selfishness, you keep it 
idly to yourselves, instead of proving your safety, it will prove 
your destruction. I long, therefore, for the time when the 
Church shall rise up and face the whole question, not in the 
light of a paltry and wretched carnalizing expediency, but in 
the light of God's own unchanging truth. I believe that 
neither this Church nor any other Church has, as a whole, yet 

304 • LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1855. 

fully estimated the magnitude of the work to be done, or the 
force and resources of the enemy to be contended with ; and 
that you and all the rest have only hitherto been, as it were, 
playing at missions! 

" Dr. Duff then glanced at a few things that might be done, 
— pointing to the necessity of fervent prayer for the effusion 
of the Spirit of all grace, dwelling on the service which Chris- 
tian mothers could render to the missionary cause in moulding 
the minds of their children, and giving them a bent in this 
direction, — how Christian instructors, when teaching their 
pupils geography, could fix their thoughts upon countries 
where missionary labour was required, and could make a great 
impression upon their minds by a few simple remarks, — and 
also the great opportunities enjoyed by ministers in creating 
an interest in this department of the Lord's cause in their 
ordinary pulpit ministrations and in their prayers. He urged 
the instituting of a professorship on missionary subjects, or 
evangelistic theology, by which means the minds of the 
young men studying for the ministry would be imbued with a 
missionary spirit. ... If I had a congregation in any 
great city, I would act thus : not confining my home evan- 
gelistic labours to week-days, or even the mornings or even- 
ings of Sabbath-days, I would from time to time say to my 
people — ' It is not right that you should be fed with what 
you reckon the highest seasoned food twice every Sabbath, 
whilst there are myriads perishing without, at our very doors, 
for lack of all food. We must cease to be selfish, — you must 
deny yourselves, and I must deny myself ; and therefore in 
the afternoon I will get another person to take my place in 
the pulpit. He may not be so entirely to your tastes as your 
own pastor, but if not, he will at least give you wholesome and 
sound truth upon which to feed ; and you are to remember 
that at the moment when he is addressing you, I am down 
yonder speaking to poor souls who have never got any of the 
bread that came down from heaven ; and therefore in your 
prayers remember them and me.' Ah ! methinks, were that 
done for a Sabbath or two, the minister might be able, when 
in his own pulpit, to set before his flock intelligence which 
would refresh their own souls, informing them that one had 
been born yonder, and another here. Then might the gleam 
of happiness, not felt before, be awakened in many a soul; 


and it would be felt that self- denying" benevolence was its own 
reward. And, then, why should this evangelistic process be 
confined to the ministry ? Why should not all the godly 
membership of the Church take their share, according to their 
varying capacities and opportunities, in this blessed work, 
some in one way, and some in another? . . Surely 
Paganism itself can scarcely be so hateful to a righteous God, 
as that barren orthodoxy of mere abstract belief, and idle talk, 
and unproductive profession. Ah ! were this better spirit 
to prevail more widely through all Protestant Churches, — the 
spirit that would prompt men to be not receivers only, but 
dispensers also, of what they had received, — the spirit that 
would lead all ecclesiastical bodies to make the doing of some 
active work for the Lord, in His own vineyard, as indispensable 
a condition of Church membership as the abstract soundness 
of a creed, and the outward consistency of moral life and 
conduct, what a strange and happy revolution would soon be 
effected. How soon would infidelity and home heathenism be 
cast down, what a new spirit of ennobling self-denial would 
bo evoked, what a spirit of large-heartedness, which would 
flow forth in copious streams in behalf of a perishing world ! 
Were this realized, we might then suppose that the dawn ot 
millennial glory was upon us. But, alas ! alas ! though the 
horizon seemed already reddening with the dawn, the Churches 
of Christ are still mostly drowsy and fast asleep. Ah ! it is 
this that saddens my own spirit. Of the cause of Christ I 
have never desponded, and never will. It will advance till 
the whole earth be filled with His glory. He will accomplish 
it, too, through the instrumentality of Churches and individual 
men. But He is not dependent on any particular Church or 
men. Yea, if any of these prove slothful or negligent, He 
may in sore judgment remove their candlestick, or pluck the 
stars out of their ecclesiastical firmament. 

" If it were in my power, as I once thought it would have 
been, — but God brought me low, — it was my intention to have 
gone largely, not only into these, but also into many other 
collateral themes, ere I left Scotland. It so happened that 
originally the Lord in His gracious providence endowed me 
with a physical frame that fitted me to encounter almost any 
amount of labour and fatigue with comparative impunity ; but 
from riding, as it were, on the topmost waves of active exertion, 


306 LIFE OF Dlt. DUFF. 1855. 

it pleased Him to lay me low; and, flinging me wholly aside, 
to address me as it were thus, ' You must now for a time at 
least retire from your work a shattered and broken man, and 
learn to bear your soul in patience before the Lord alone. Sit 
still, away from the world of busy men, and learn the power of 
solemn silence. ' And although I must confess that this was 
hard to bear, with hundreds of doors of usefulness presenting 
themselves on every side, and that I convulsively struggled 
against the sentence, yet He soon made me feel that I was in 
the grasp of an almighty and invisible power, that held me 
fast, till I was made to learn the grace of patience and silent 
enduring submission to His holy will. 

" A few years ago, I felt that God in His providence called 
me to the discharge of a certain work in Scotland. So far as 
concerns my individual share in it, I now feel that that work 
has been substantially accomplished. The Foreign Mission 
Fund, — on whose prosperity all our operations in India and 
Africa must, for the present depend, — was in a very dilapidated 
state. By God's blessing, that Fund has been rescued from 
its tottering state of insecurity, and placed on a stable and 
permanent foundation through the working of the associational 
plan, with its regular quarterly subscriptions and prayer-meet- 
ings, in the great majority of the influential congregations oi 
the Church; while in amount it has been doubled or trebled; 
all that is required being the maintenance of the present 
system through proper agency and periodic visitation, as well 
as the extension of it to all the remaining congregations. 
And as the spirit of Missions rises in the Church, present 
contributions may even be indefinitely enlarged. And now, 
this my home work being for the present finished, while 
exigencies of a peculiar kind appear to call me back again to 
the Indian field, I cheerfully obey the summons ; and despite 
its manifold ties and attractions, I now feel as if, in fulness of 
heart, I can say, Farewell to Scotland." 

Leaving these and many other such words behind 
him for the quickening of the Churches, Dr. Duff, 
with his wife, set out from Edinburgh on the 13th of 
October for India, for the third time. 




Through Central India to Calcutta. — The First Day in the Free 
Church and in the Institution. — Sir Henry Durand's Account of the 
Reunion. — Mutfcerings of the Storm. — The Santal Insurrection 
and Missionary Memorial to Government. — The Enfield Cartridges. 
— The Meerut and Delhi Massacres. — Dr. Duff's Twenty-five 
Letters. — Handling the Mnsket. — Confidence in the Lord. — Plots 
and Panics in Calcutta. — The Centenary of Plassey. — The Massacre 
at Futtehghur. — The Horrors of Cawnpore. — Death of Sir Henry 
Lawrence. — British Troops in Cornwallis Square. — Mercy and 
the Gospel. — Fatal Optimism of the Calcutta Authorities. — Fall of 
Delhi and Relief of Lucknow. — John Lawrence in the Punjab 
and Edwardes at Peshawur. — Death of Sir Henry Havelock. — ■ 
Durand's Successful Operations. — Lord Canning's Merits and 
Defects. — Bishop Wilson at Eighty. — Dr. Duff's famous Patriotic 
Sermon. — Christian Statesmanship of John Lawrence. — Growth 
of the Church of India. — Its Roll of Martyrs and Confessors. — 
Thomas Hunter of Sialkot. — Gopeenath Nundi, his Wife and 
Children. — Robert Tucker's Martyrdom at Futtehpore. — The 
Bengalee and his Wife witness a good Confession. — Loyalty of 
the Native Church of India. — Duff's Sympathy with the Educated 
Natives who suffered. 

The one condition on which the physicians allowed 
Dr. Duff to return to India was that he should still, 
for six months, abstain from work of all kinds, while 
he sought the climate of the Mediterranean or of 
Egypt for another winter. He reasoned that the dry 
and bracing yet mild air of the Dekhan, or uplands of 
Central India, is quite as invigorating to the invalid, 
while there he could return to his loved duties of 
missionary overseer. Setting out from Trieste, he 
and Mrs. Duff joined the mail steamer at Suez, but 
without their baggage. For the first few days in the 

308 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1856. 

Red Sea, their fellow-passengers were busied prepar- 
ing a wardrobe for each. While Mrs. Duff went on 
by Ceylon and Madras to Calcutta, charged with the 
care of more than one expectant bride, as is the 
pleasant duty of Anglo-Indian matrons, her husband 
joined the Government steamer at Aden for Bombay. 
There, of course, he forgot all prudence amid the 
philanthropic temptations of the Western capital. 
But " the subsequent journey through the delightful 
region of the Konkan, and the magnificent mountain 
scenery of Mahableshwar to Satara, in the edifying 
society of my beloved friend, Dr. Wilson, soon 
operated with a reviving effect." From Poona by 
Ahmednuggur, Aurungabad and Jalna, where now 
the Rev. Narain Sheshadri conducts the most vigorous 
native Mission in the peninsula, he reached Nagpore, 
even then remarkable for the labours of Stephen 
Hislop, a colleague worthy of Dr. Wilson and himself. 
Hence by Kampthee, Jubbulpore and Mirzapore he 
came to Benares and Calcutta, having followed a chain 
of Christian fortresses across the whole breadth 
of Northern India. Just before the Sabbath of 
17th February he entered his own city, in time to begin 
the third and last period of his evangelizing work 
in India, by " preaching the everlasting gospel from 
the pulpit of the Free Church. After a sublimely 
impressive prayer from my beloved friend, Mr. Milne, 
the pastor, I endeavoured, amid a mighty rush and 
conflict of emotions, to preach to an overflowing 
audience. After sermon what a greeting with beloved 
native converts and friends. " Among the worshippers 
was Sir Henry Durand, the grave young lieutenant of 
the Lady Holland, the friend of Judson, and even then 
among the foremost military statesmen of the empire. 
From his hotel next day, that officer thus addressed 
the daughter of his old fellow-voyager : 

JEt 50. DUEAND ON DR. DUFF. 309 

"When Mr. Milne walked up into the pulpit, and your father 
sat down in front of it on the opposite side of the aisle to my- 
self, the thought occurred, — six-and-twenty years ago we were 
on Dassen Island, spending our last day there, and under a 
roof of a different kind, though gothic too — for the ribs of 
the whale were then our gothic arches supporting a ship's 
awning. When the service began, one of the native Christians 
beside me found the hymn and handed the book to me. I 
can't tell you how this not little event thrilled and struck me. 
A quarter of a century ago who would have foretold me this ? 
thought I. Well, the service went on, and, finally, your 
father ascended the pulpit. The last time I heard him preach 
was on board a ship in 1830 ; and really, except for a flush 
which the excitemeut of the moment fully accounted for, there 
was remarkably little difference of appearance in the preacher 
of 1830 and of 1856. If it had not been for the place and the 
row of native Christians alongside of me, I could have fancied 
myself a quarter of a century back in the pages of time. 
When, however, the discourse began, and your father fairly 
plunged into his subject, the difference between the preacher 
of 1880 and of 1856 was manifest. Great as were his powers 
in 1830, a quarter of a century had developed, ripened and 
invigorated those powers, and the flow of thought, language 
and illustration must have struck every one as it did myself. 
But as you were there, I only advert to this when thinking 
of what he was in 1830. You will have felt the discourse of 
Sunday last — as all who heard it must have done — as often 
marvellously beautiful and powerful, were it not that the 
Spirit of God can breathe Its own force into whomsoever It 
chooses. All the time, however, I felt that the exertion was 
too great, and I quite dreaded the tension of feeling and mind, 
and determined to tell you that you should do what you can 
to keep Dr. Duff from frequent exertions of this exhaustive 
character. At the end he scarce had strength to read the 
hymn. When leaving the church I saw that there were many 
more native Christians present than the row who were under 
the pulpit ; and it pleased me much to observe several native 
women. How different all this from Dassen Island, and a 
quarter of a century ago ! And who then would have pre- 
dicted such things ? As I drove away I thought, — well, I owe 
this great treat to Mrs. Watson, and I must thauk her for it. 

?IO LIFE OP DR. DUFF. !856. 

"Another was in store for me. I was sitting in my solitary 
den in this hotel, when a tap at the door this morning 
announced some one. It was Dr. Duff. He had very kindly 
called to take me with him on the occasion of his first visit 
to the Free Church School and College. It was a very 
striking sight, the assemblage of Bengalee scholars ; and 
very gratifying must have been to your father the evident 
pleasure with which the elder scholars and native teachers 
saw his face again. His address to them was admirable, as 
you may be sure, and occasionally — when, for instance, he 
adverted to the juxtaposition of Shiva's temple and the wires 
of the electric telegraph — there was a laugh which spread like 
wild-fire, all the young monkeys who neither heard nor under- 
stood laughing out of joyous sympathy ; but on the whole 
your father was too much in earnest and under too great 
emotion to give them much laughing. He spoke to them for 
some time, — longer, perhaps, than was quite good for him- 
self — but who could be surprised at that, on his first visit to 
this Institution, his own creation, and one in which the hand 
of God is, perhaps, more apparent than in any other in India. 
As I looked at the lines of heads listening to him, Archdeacon 
Corrie's lament, at the time Government were founding the 
Hindoo College, recurred to me. ( They will raise only atheists 
and deists, and infiJelity and immorality will be perpetuated 
under other forms than Hindooism,' was Corrie's prediction to 
myself in 1830 of the probable fruit of the Hindoo College, then 
lately commeuced. Little did Corrie think that just at that 
very time a rival Institution, on very different principles, was 
being founded ; and how that good man would have joyed to 
witness what I saw yesterday and to-day ! I shall note this 
day as one of the bright ones of my career in India, and 
yesterday too. We have not quite stood still in India for a 
quarter of a century. Dr. Duff and his coadjutors in labour 
have, under God's providence, laid the corner-stone of an 
edifice which must swell into gigantic proportions before 
another quarter of a century is over. I don't think the new 
building, large aud costly though it seem now, anything more 
than a mere nursery. There must be many such before long, 
and that in different quarters of India ; but wherever they are 
and whatever their numbers, Dr. Duff and his first five Hindoo 
pupils, one of whom I saw to-day, will be remembered as God's 
chosen instrument." 


Lord Canning, Durand's schoolfellow at Eton, took 
the oaths and his seat in Government House on the 
last day of February, 1856. There was many a wet 
eye when, at the historic Ghaut a few days after, the 
groat Marquis of Dalhousie left the East India Com- 
pany's metropolis. In extent, in resources and in 
political strength he had developed its territories into 
an empire able to pass triumphantly through the ordeal 
of mutiny and insurrection, which the Government at 
home had invited, in spite of his protests against a 
reduction of the British garrison in inverse proportion 
to the addition of a province like anarchic Ondh. 
For the Crimean War had been succeeded by the 
Persian expedition, provinces as large as France were 
almost without an English soldier, and the predicted 
extinction of the Company's raj on the coming cen- 
tenary of Plassey next year was current. Already 
had the emissaries of the titular King of Delhi and 
the richly pensioned descendants of Sivajee and the 
Maratha Peshwa been abroad, the lions of London 
drawing-rooms, the keen observers of our early blunders 
before Sebastopol, envoys to the Shah of Persia, to the 
great Khans of Central Asia, and to our own feudatory 
kings. The twelvemonth of 1856-57, during which 
the new Governor-General was beginning his appren- 
ticeship to affairs, was the lull before the storm which 
few suspected and not one anticipated in the form in 
which it burst. Lord Dalhousie had protested in vain 
against the suicidal withdrawal of so many Queen's 
regiments and had urged reforms in* the sepoy army 
which the jealous Sir Charles Napier resented. Henry 
Lawrence had predicted a collapse of some kind if 
military reorganization were longer postponed. 

The missionaries, as the most permanent and disin- 
terested body of observers in the country, had so far 
shown their uneasiness as to submit to Government 

312 LIFE OP DIl. DUFF. 1857. 

an elaborate memorial on the state of the people. 
Military reform was not within their ken. But they 
knew the people as no one else did, and they were 
the most valuable intermediaries and interpreters be- 
tween their own foreign Government and their native 
fellow-subjects, as more than one wise ruler has found, 
from Lord Wellesley to Lord Northbrook. The con- 
dition-of-Bengal question, as it was called, Dr. Duff 
and Mr. Marshman had represented with effect before 
the Parliamentary committee on the Charter of 1853, 
but the corruption of the police and the courts and 
the oppression of the peasantry could not be prevented 
in a few years. An insurrection of the simple abori- 
gines of the Santal hills, some two hundred miles west 
of Calcutta, against the exactions of their Bengalee 
usurers, had still further let a lurid light into the 
structure of Hindoo society, without education and 
still resisting the gospel. The Muhammadans, on the 
other hand, had not remained uninfluenced by the 
spirit which, more or less blindly, we encouraged in 
the Government of their Sultan, in the still vain hope 
that we might change the leopard's spots. The Wahabee 
colony, in Patna and on the Punjab frontier, was busily 
recruiting co-religionists from Eastern Bengal to wage 
on us the intermittent war which continued from the 
capture of Delhi in 1857, to the drawn battle of 
Umbeyla in 1864, and the assassination of a Chief 
Justice and a Viceroy in 1871. Dimly doubtful whether, 
after all, Great Britain was not making the mistake 
of giving new life to the cruel intolerance of Islam, 
its Christian philanthropists, headed by Sir Culling 
Eardley, consulted Dr. Duff, among others, as to the 
law and feeling of the Muhammadans of India regard- 
ing the death penalty for apostasy. He collected from 
the best authorities, Asiatic and Anglo-Indian, a body 
of opinion which, while it showed that Islam cannot 


change, found a horrible commentary in the massacres 
eight months after. 

The leafy station of Dum Dum, almost a suburb of 
Calcutta, and the scene of Olive's first victory in Ben- 
gal, was the head-quarters of the Artillery in the east, 
as Meerut is still of the same arm in the north-west 
of India. At Dum Dum there is the Magazine for the 
manufacture of ammunition, and there, in 1857, was a 
musketry school for practice with the Enfield rifle, 
then recently introduced but long since superseded. 
One of the Magazine workmen, of low caste, having 
been refused a drink from the " lotah " of a sepoy, 
who was a Brahman, revenged himself by the taunt 
that all castes would soon be alike, for cartridges 
smeared with the fat of kine and the lard of swine 
would have to be bitten by the whole army, Hindoo 
and Muhammadan. That remark became the oppor- 
tunity of the political plotters. The horror, in a wildly 
exaggerated form, was whispered in every cantonment 
from Dum Dum to Peshawur. In the infantry and 
cavalry lines of Barrackpore, a few miles farther up 
the Hooghly and the Governor-General's summer seat, 
the alarm was only increased when the General, who 
knew the sepoys and their language well, assured 
them that not one of the dreaded cartridges had then 
been issued, and that the troops might lubricate them 
for the Enfield grooves with beeswax. It happened 
— a fact which we now publish for the first time — 
that several of them had occasionally lounged into 
the famous manufactory of paper at Serampore on 
the opposite side of the river, where the cartridge 
paper was prepared, and there had witnessed the boil- 
ing of animal size for other varieties. The Barrack- 
pore, then the Berhampore, then the Meerut, and 
finally all the sepoys of the Bengal army, ignorant 
and pampered as spoiled children, honestly believed 

314 LIFE 0F DR« DUFF. 1857. 

that the Enfield cartridge was meant to destroy their 
caste, and that the new Lord Saheb had been sent out 
thus to make them Christians, for had not his first 
order been that all recruits must be enlisted for service 
across the sea ? 

Thus opened Januarjr, 1857. All the evidence points 
to the last Sabbath in May, when the Christians should 
be in church, as the time fixed by the leaders for a 
general rising, from Calcutta on to the east to Maratha 
Satara on the west and over the whole land thence to 
the Himalayas. But the cartridge panic precipitated 
the catastrophe, broke it into detached attempts, and 
enabled the Christian civilization of a handful of white 
men, — not forty thousand at the crisis, — to save the 
millions of Southern and Eastern Asia. The weakness 
with which Government treated the attempts at Ber- 
ha in pore and Barrackpore emboldened eighty- five 
Mussulmans of the 3rd Cavalry at Meerut to refuse 
even to tear off the end of the suspected cartridges 
with their hands. On Saturday, the 9th May, they 
were marched to jail in fetters before the rest of the 
troops; on Sabbath evening the sepoys of all arms 
rose, freed them and all the convicts, and proceeded 
to massacre the Europeans, young and old, as they 
came out of church or were found in the comparatively 
isolated houses of an Indian station. Military incom- 
petence in the north-west completed what the imbecility 
of the Calcutta authorities had begun under their own 
eyes. General Hewitt allowed the maddened sepoys to 
rage unchecked, and then to march to Delhi to repeat 
the -work of blood. In spite of John Lawrence's pro- 
tests, General Anson, the Commander-in-Chief who 
had hurried down from the Capua of Simla, refused to 
take possession of Delhi while it was still possible to 
do so. Old Bahadoor Shah, the king, had his tem- 
porary revenge for the just refusal of Lord Canning 


to allow his son to become his titular successor, and for 
the order which had warned him to transfer his court 
from the fortress of the city to a rural palace. 

This much will enable our readers to take up the 
sad yet heroic tale at the point where Dr. Duff became 
the chronicler, in a series of twenty-five letters which 
Dr. Tweedie published every fortnight in the Witness, 
and which afterwards, in the form of a volume, ran 
through several editions. The special value of what 
we shall quote lies, for the historian of the future, in 
the picture of Calcutta and the report of contemporary 
opinion by a missionary whose personal courage was as 
undoubted as his political experience and discrimination 
were remarkable. His letters on The Indian Rebellion ; 
its Causes and Results not only supplement but correct 
the unsatisfactory narrative and speculation of Sir John 
Kaye, who had long left India and was unconsciously 
biassed by his official position in Leadenhall Street. 
The extracts we may best introduce by the remini- 
scence of the Rev. James Long, whose home in. the 
Amherst Street enclosure of the Church Missionary 
Society was not far from Cornwallis Square. 

" At the period of the Mutiny we both lived in the 
native part of the town, with the smouldering embers 
of disaffection all around us. We had a vigilance com- 
mittee of the Europeans of our part of the suburbs 
which used to meet in Dr. Duff's house. I applied to 
the chief magistrate for a grant of arms for our mem- 
bers, but the request was negatived — that official, like 
most of those in Calcutta, could see no danger though 
we were at the mouth of a volcano. I mentioned the 
case to Dr. Duff, and by his advice I laid the request 
before Lord Canning. A favourable answer was 
received in a few hours, and muskets were supplied. 
I shall never forget the gleam of glee that lighted up 
his face as he handled his musket. He felt with the 

316 LIFF, OF DR. DUFF. 1857. 

men of that day that necessity overrides all conven- 

Calcutta, 16th May, 1857. — "We are at this moment in 
a crisis of jeopardy such as has not occurred since the awful 
catastrophe of the Black Hole of Calcutta. It is now certain 
that we narrowly escaped a general massacre in Calcutta itself. 
There was a deep-laid plot or conspiracy — for which some 
have undergone the penalty of death — to seize on Fort William, 
and massacre all the Europeans. The night chosen for the 
desperate attempt was that on which the Maharaja of Gvvalior, 
when here, had invited the whole European community to an 
exhibition of fireworks, across the river, at the Botanic Gar- 
dens. On that evening, however, as if by a gracious interposi- 
tion of Providence, we were visited with a heavy storm of 
thunder, lightning, and rain, so that the grand entertainment 
of the Maharaja had to be postponed. The European officers, 
therefore, had not left the Fort; and the object of the con- 
spirators being thus defeated, was soon afterwards brought to 
light, to the horror of all, and the abounding thankfulness of 
such as acknowledge the loving-kindness of the Lord. From 
all the chief stations in the North- West, intelligence of a mu- 
tinous spirit manifesting itself in divers ways has been drop- 
ping in upon us for several weeks past. But at this moment 
all interest is absorbed by the two most prominent cases, at 
Meerut and Delhi. Such a blow to the prestige of British 
power and supremacy has not yet been struck in the whole 
history of British India. All Calcutta may be said to be in 
sackcloth. The three or four days' panic during the crisis of 
the Sikh War was nothing to this. Nearly half the native army 
is in a state of secret or open mutiny; and the other half 
known to be disaffected. But this is not all ; the populace 
generally is known to be more or less disaffected. You see, 
then, how very serious is the crisis. Nothing, nothing but 
some gracious and signal interposition of the God of Providence 
seems competent now to save our empire in India. And if 
there be a general rising — as any day may be — the probability 
is, that not a European life will anywhere escape the universal 
and indiscriminate massacre. But my own hope is in the God 
of Providence. I have a secret, confident persuasion that, 
though this crisis has been permitted to humble and warn us, 


our work in India lias not yet been accomplished, — and that 
until it be accomplished, our tenure of empire, however brittle, 
is secure. 

" Here it is seriously proposed, or suggested, that all the 
Europeans in Calcutta should be immediately constituted into 
a local militia, for the defence of life and property in Calcutta 
and neighbourhood. Already it is known that the Muham- 
madaus have had several night meetings ; and when the procla- 
mation of the newly mutineer-installed Emperor of Delhi comes 
to be generally known, no one can calculate on the result. But 
never before did I realize as now the literality and sweetness 
of the Psalmist's assurance, — 'I laid me down and slept; I 
awaked : for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of 
ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me 
round about. Arise, Lord ; save me, my God ! ' Our 
son Alexander, poor fellow, is at Meerut, the very centre and 
focus of mutiny, — and where already Europeans have been 
massacred, though no names have yet reached us. You may 
therefore imagine in what a horrible state of suspense and 
anxiety Mrs. Duff and myself now are. May the Lord have 
mercy on him and us ! 

" Benares, where your son is, has as yet been free from actual 
mutiny ; though, doubtless, disaffection is as rife there as else- 
where. Humanly speaking, and under God, everything will 
depend on our Government being able promptly to re-take the 
fort of Delhi, and inflict summary chastisement on the mu- 
tineer-murderers there. The Governor of Agra is much trusted 
in, from his firmness and good sense ; and he reports that Agra 
is safe. Oudh, happily, is under Sir Henry Lawrence, the 
most prompt and energetic officer, perhaps, in the Company's 
service. He has already quashed mutiny there in a style which 
if our Government had only imitated months ago, there would 
have been an end of the whole matter now. 

3rd June. — c{ Though the Mission House be absolutely un- 
protected, in the very heart of the native city, far away from 
the European quarters, I never dreamt of leaving it. . . 
Our Mission work in all its branches, alike in Calcutta and the 
country stations, continues to go on without any interruption, 
though there is a wild excitement abroad among all classes of 
natives, which tends mightily to distract and unsettle their 

3^8 LTFE OF DR. DUFF. 1857. 

16th Jane. — " Calcutta has been in a state of alarm far ex- 
ceeding anything that had gone before. . . Our great 
infantry station, Barrackpore, lies about twelve miles to the 
north of* Calcutta, and on the same side of the river; our artil- 
lery station, Dum Durn, about four or five miles to the north- 
east. To the south is Fort William, and beyond it the great 
Allipore jail, with its thousands of imprisoned desperadoes, 
guarded by a regiment of native militia; not far from Alipore 
is Garden Reach, where the ex-king of Oudh has been residing 
with about a thousand armed retainers, the Mussulman popula- 
tion, generally armed also, breathing fanatical vengeance on 
the ' infidels/ and praying in their mosques for the success of 
the Delhi rebels. Calcutta, being guarded by native police 
only, in whom not a particle of confidence can any longer be 
reposed, seemed to be exposed on all sides to imminent perils, 
as most of the European soldiers had been sent to the North- 
West. In this extremity, and in the midst of indescribable 
panic and alarm, the Government began to enrol the European 
and East Indian residents as volunteers, to patrol the streets 
at night, etc. Happily the 78th Highlanders arrived during 
the week, and their presence helped to act so far as a sedative. 
Still, while the city was filled with armed citizens, and sur- 
rounded on all sides with armed soldiers, all known to be dis- 
affected to the very core, and waiting only for the signal to 
burst upon the European population in a tempest of massacre 
and blood, the feeling of uneasiness and insecurity was intense. 
Many, unable to withstand the pressure any longer, went to 
pass the night in central places of rendezvous ; numbers went 
into the fort ; and numbers more actually went on board the 
ships and steamers in tbe river. 

" On Sabbath (14th) the feeling of anxiety rose to a perfect 
paroxysm. On Saturday night the Brigadier at Barrackpore 
sent an express to Government House to notify that, from cer- 
tain information which he had obtained, there was to be a 
general rising of the sepoys on Sabbath. Accordingly, before 
the Sabbath dawned, all manner of vehicles were in requisition 
to convey all the available European forces to Barrackpore and 
Dum Dum. Those which had been sent to the north by rail- 
way on Saturday were recalled by a telegraphic message 
through the night. But the public generally had not any dis- 
tinct intelligence as to the varied movements ; and even if they 


had, tli ere would be the uttermost uncertainty as to the result. 
Accordingly, throughout the whole Sabbath-day the wildest 
and most fearful rumours were circulating in rapid succes- 

" The great roads from Barrackpore and Dum Dum unite a 
little beyond Cornwallis Square, and then pass through it. If 
there were a rush of murderous ruffians from these military 
stations, the European residents in that square would have to 
eucounter the first burst of their diabolical fury. It so hap- 
pened, therefore, that some kind friends, interested in our wel- 
fare, wrote to us at daybreak on Sabbath, pointing out the 
danger, and urging the necessity of our leaving the square. 
And before breakfast, some friends called in person to urge 
the propriety of this course. Still, I did not feel it to be my 
duty to yield to their expostulations. There were others in 
the square besides my partner and myself. Near us is the 
Central Female School of the Church of England, with several 
lady teachers, and some twenty or thirty boarders ; the Chris- 
tian converts' house, with upwards of a dozen inmates ; our old 
Mission home, with its present occupants of the Established 
Church; in another house an English clergyman, with some 
native Christians ; and in another still, the Lady Superinten- 
dent of the Bethune Government School, and her assistants. 
If one must leave the square, all ought to do so ; and I did not 
consider the alarming intelligence sufficiently substantiated to 
warrant me to propose to my neighbours a universal abandon- 
ment of the square. So I went on with all my ordinary Sab- 
bath duties, altogether in the ordinary way. Almost all the 
ministers in Calcutta had expostulatory letters sent them, dis- 
suading them from preaching in the forenoon, and protesting 
against their attempting to do so in the evening. And though, 
to their credit, no one, so far as I have heard, yielded to the 
pressure, the churches in the forenoon were half empty, and in 
the evening nearly empty altogether. 

" On Sunday, at five p.m., the authorities, backed by the 
presence of British troops, proceeded to disarm the sepoys at 
Barrackpore, Dum Dum, and elsewhere. Through God's great 
mercy the attempt proved successful. This, however, was only 
known to a few connected with Government House and their 
friends, so that the panic throughout Sunday night rose to an 
inconceivable height. With the exception of another couple, 

320 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1857 

Mrs. Dnff and myself were the only British residents in Corn- 
wallis Square on that night. Faith in Jehovah as our refuge 
and strength led us to cling to our post; and we laid us down 
to sleep as usual ; and on Monday morning my remark was, 
* Well, I have not enjoyed such a soft,. sweet, refreshing rest 
for weeks past/ Oh, how our hearts rose in adoring gratitude 
to Him Who is the Keeper of Israel, and Who slumbers not nor 
sleeps ! Then we soon learnt the glad tidings that all the 
armed sepoys had everywhere been successfully disarmed ; and 
that, during the night, the ex-king of Oudh, and his treason- 
able courtiers, were quietly arrested, and lodged as prisoners 
of state in Fort William. 

Calcutta, 24<th June, 1857. — " The centenary day of the 
battle of Plassey (23rd instant) which laid the foundation of 
our Indian empire, and which native hopes and wishes, and 
astrological predictions, had long ago fixed on as the last of 
British sway, has passed by ; and through God's overruling 
providence, Calcutta is still the metropolis of British India. 
But, alas ! throughout the whole of the North-West Provinces, 
all government is at present at an end. The apparently settled 
peace and profound tranquillity which were wont to reign 
throughout British India in former years, once called forth 
from an intelligent French traveller the somewhat irreverent 
but striking remark, that the Government of India was ' like 
the good Deity : one does not see it, but it is everywhere/ 
So calm, serene and ubiquitous did the power of British rule 
then appear to be ! How changed the aspect of things now ! 
Throughout the whole of the North- West, Government, instead 
of being in its regulating power and influence everywhere, is, 
at this moment, literally ' nowhere/ Instead of peace and 
tranquillity, security of life and property, under its sovereign 
and benign sway, universal anarchy, turbulence, and ruin ! — 
the military stations in possession of armed and bloodthirsty 
mutineers, — the public treasures rifled, — the habitations of the 
British residents plundered and reduced to ashes, — numbers of 
British officers, with judges, magistrates, women, and children, 
butchered with revolting cruelties, — the remanent portions of 
the British that have yet escaped, cooped up in isolated spots, 
and closely hemmed in by myriads that are thirsting for their 
blood, while bands of armed ruffians are scouring over the 
country, bent on ravage, plunder, and murder, striking ter- 


ror and consternation into the minds of millions of the peace- 
fully disposed ! 

" Almost the only incident that has yet been brought to 
light, amid these scenes of dark and unbroken horror, is the 
fact that a poor wailing British child, found exposed on the 
banks of the Jumna, beyond Delhi, by a faqueer or religious 
devotee, was taken up by him, and brought to Kurnal, after 
being carefully nursed and cherished for several days. The 
parents of the poor infant were unknown, having in all pro- 
bability been murdered in their attempted flight. But once 
safely lodged in Kurnal, through the tender care of a dark 
heathen devotee, in whose bosom the spark of natural humanity 
still glowed, the child was soon caught up within the circle of 
British and Christian sympathy, whose special concern is for 
the poor, the needy, and the destitute. 

" The day — the last and fatal day to British power in India, 
if the vaticinations so long current among all classes of natives 
were to be trusted — was ushered in amid ten thousand anxieties 
despite all the preparations that had been made to meet it. 
What helped to heighten these anxieties was, that, by a singu- 
lar coincidence, that happened also to be the great day of the 
annual Hindoo festival of the Ruth Jattra, or pulling of the 
cars of Jugganath. Of these cars numbers of all sizes have 
been wont to be pulled along the streets of Calcutta and sub- 
urbs. On these occasions the entire latent fanaticism of the 
Hindoo community has been usually elicited, when the Brahmans 
and attendant throngs raise and re-echo the loud shouts of 
' Victory to Jugganath ; victory to the great Jugganath/ The 
day and night, however, have now passed away without any 
violent outrage anywhere within the bounds of the city ; and 
we are still in the land of the living this morning, to celebrate 
anew Jehovah's goodness. Doubtless the knowledge of the 
Vast preparations that were made promptly to put down any 
insurrection tended, under God, to prevent any, by paralysing 
the hosts of conspirators under a conviction of the utter hope- 
lessness of success. Moreover, I cannot but note the fact, that 
our rainy season, which has been somewhat later in com- 
mencing this year, began to set in on Sunday, 21st inst., with 
a violent thunderstorm, since which very heavy showers have 
continued to fall in rapid succession, accompanied with violent 
gusts of wind. These gusty tropical showers rendered it par- 


322 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1857. 

ticularly disagreeable for any one to be ont on our muddy and 
half-flooded streets. The very elements thus seemed to con- 
spire, along with the preparations on the part of man, to defeat 
the counsels and purposes of the wicked, by confining them to 
their own secret haunts of treason, sedition and meditated 

" The only disturbance in the neighbourhood took place at 
Agarparah, about half-way between this and Barrackpore. On 
the afternoon of Tuesday (23rd) a body of between two and three 
hundred Mussulmans rushed into the Government and Mission- 
ary schools, shouting that the Company's raj (or reign) was 
now at an end, and ordering the teachers, on pain of death, 
to destroy their English books, and teach no more English in 
the schools, but only the Koran. A violent affray with sticks, 
bamboos and bricks was the result ; but though a great many 
heads were broken, no lives were lost. This was a fair indi- 
cation of the spirit and determination of Muhammadanism 
generally ; and clearly proves how little not only Christianity, 
but even western civilization, has to expect from its intolerance, 
were it once to acquire the ascendancy in this land. 

29th June. — " Still no cessation of heavy tidings from the 
North-West. In one of our journals to-day appears the letter 
of a correspondent at Allahabad, who, after stating that the 
destruction of property there was total, thus proceeds : — ' Did 
the report reach you of the massacre of the Futtehghur fugi- 
tives ? It passed in atrocity all that has hitherto been perpe- 
trated. A large body of Europeans, men, women, and children, 
in several boats, left Futtehghur for this ; they were all the 
non-military residents of the place. On arrival at Bithoor 
(near Cavvnpore), the Nana Saheb fired on them with the 
artillery the Government allowed him to keep. One round 

shot struck poor Mrs. , and killed her on the spot. The 

boats were then boarded, and the inmates landed and dragged 
to the parade-ground at Cawnpore, where they were first fired 
at, and then literally hacked to pieces with tulwars / or axe-like 

Calcutta, 7th My, 1 857. — " Alas, alas ! the work of savage 
butchery still progresses in this distracted land. Not a day 
passes without some addition, from one quarter or another, to 
the black catalogue of treachery and murder. This very day 
Government have received intelligence of one of the foulest 


tragedies connected with this awful rebellion. At Cawnpore, 
one of the largest military stations in Northern India, a 
mutinous spirit had early manifested itself among the native 
soldiery, and there were no European troops whatever to keep 
it in check, except about fifty men who had latterly been sent 
by Sir Henry Lawrence from Lucknow. But there was one 
man there whose spirit, energy, and fertility of resource were 
equal to a number of ordinary regiments — the brave and skilful 
veteran, Sir Hugh Wheeler. By his astonishing vigour and 
promptitude of action, he succeeded in keeping in abeyance 
the mutinous spirit of three or four thousand armed men. At 
the same time, with the forecasting prudence of a wise general, 
he began to prepare timeously for the worst, by forming a 
small entrenched camp, to which ladies, children, and other 
helpless persons, with provisions, were removed, while most of 
the British officers took up their abode either in or near it. At 
last the long-expected rising took place. The mutineers went 
deliberately to work, according to the prescribed plan followed 
in other quarters. They broke open the jail and liberated the 
prisoners; they plundered the public treasury; they pillaged 
and set fire to the bungalows of the officers and other British 
residents, killing all indiscriminately who had not effected 
their escape to the entrenched camp. 

" There Sir Hugh and his small handful with undaunted 
courage held their position against the most tremendous odds, 
repelling every attack of the thousands by whom they were 
surrounded, with heavy loss to the rebels. These were at last 
joined by thousands more of the mutineers from Sultanpore, 
Seetapore, and other places in Oudh, with guns. The conflict 
now became terrific, — exemplifying, on the part of the British, 
the very spirit and determination of old Greece at Thermo- 
pylae. The soul of the brave old chief, in particular, only 
rose, by the accumulating pressure of difficulty, into grander 
heroism. To the last he maintained a hearty cheerfulness, de- 
claring that he could hold out for two or three weeks against 
any numbers. With the fall of the chief and some of his 
right-hand men, the remainder of the little band seem to have 
been smitten with a sense of the utter hopelessness of pro- 
longed resistance. They did not, they could not, know that 
relief was so near at hand,— that the gallant Colonel Neil, who 
had already saved Benares and the fortress of Allahabad with 

324 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1857. 

his Madras Fusiliers, was within two or three days' march of 
them. Had this been known to them, they would doubtless 
have striven to hold out during these two or three days; and, 
to all human appearance, with success. But, ignorant of the 
approaching relief, and assailed by the cries and tears of help- 
less women and children, they were induced, in an evil hour, 
to entertain the overtures made to them by a man who had 
already been guilty of treachery and murder. 

" This man was Nana Saheb, the adopted son of the late 
Bajee Row, the ex-Peshwa, or last head of the Maratha confed- 
eracy, who, for the long period of nearly forty years, resided at 
Benares, enjoying the munificent pension of .£80,000 a-year. 
This Nana Saheb was allowed, by the bounty of the British 
Government, to occupy a small fort at Bithoor, not far from 
Cawnpore. Till within the last few months this man was wont 
to profess the greatest delight in European society, — to go out 
with British officers on shooting excursions, and to invite them 
to fetes at his residence. And yet, the moment that fortune 
seems to frown on British interests, he turns round, and, with 
Asiatic treachery, deliberately plans the destruction of the very 
men whom he had so often, in the spirit of apparently cordial 
friendship, feted and feasted. On Sunday, the 28th June, this 
man, with consummate hypocrisy, of his own accord sent over- 
tures to our beleaguered countrymen, — then bereft of their 
heroic chieftain, — swearing, ' upon the water of the Ganges, 
and all the oaths most binding on a Hindoo, that if the garrison 
would trust to him and surrender, the lives of all would be 
spared, and they should be put into boats, and sent down to 
Allahabad.'' Under the influence of some infatuating blind- 
ness, that garrison that might have possibly held out till relief 
arrived was induced to trust in these oily professions, and sur- 
render. Agreeably to the terms of the treaty, they were put 
into boats, with provisions, and other necessaries and comforts. 
But mark the conduct of the perfidious fiend in human form : 
No sooner had the boats reached the middle of the river than 
their sworn protector himself gave a preconcerted signal, and 
guns, which had been laid for the purpose, were opened upon 
them from the Cawnpore bank ! yea, and when our poor wretched 
countrymen tried to escape, by crossing to the Oudh side of 
the river, they found that arrangements had been made there 
too for their reception; for thera, such of them as were en ■ 


abled to land were instantaneously cut to pieces by cavalry 
that had been sent across for the purpose. In this way nearly 
the whole party, according to the Government report, — con- 
sisting of several hundreds, mostly helpless women and 
children, — were destroyed ! such of the women and children 
as were not killed being reserved probably as hostages. 

20th July. — " Heavier and heavier tidings of woe ! About 
a week ago it was known that Sir Henry Lawrence — whose 
defence of Lucknow with a mere handful, amid the rage of hos- 
tile myriads, has been the admiration of all India — had gone 
out to attack a vast body of armed rebels ; that his native force, 
with characteristic treachery, had turned round upon him at the 
commencement of the fight — and that, with his two hundred 
Europeans, he had to cut his way back, with Spartan daring, 
to the Residency. It was also known that, on that occasion, 
the brave leader was severely wounded; and two days ago 
intelligence reached us, which, alas ! has since been confirmed, 
that on the 4th instant he sunk under the effects of his wounds. 
What shall I say ? It is impossible for me to express the 
grief of heart which I feel in thus recording the death of Sir 
Henry Lawrence. In his character were singularly blended 
the heroic chivalry of the old Greek and the inflexible stern- 
ness of the old Roman, in happy combination with the tender- 
ness of a patriarch, and the benevolence of the Christian 
philanthropist. In him the native army, through whose mur- 
derous treachery he prematurely fell, has lost its greatest 
benefactor ; while the girls' and boys' schools, founded by his 
munificence on the heights of the Himalaya, of Mount Aboo, 
and of the Neelgherris, must testify through coming ages to 
the depth and liveliness of his interest in the welfare of the 
British soldier's family in this burning foreign clime. I mourn 
over him as a personal friend, — one whose friendship re- 
sembled more what we sometimes meet with in romance rather 
than in actual everyday life. I mourn over him as one of the 
truest, sincerest, and most liberal supporters of our Calcutta 
Mission. I mourn over him as the heaviest loss which British 
India could possibly sustain in the very midst of the most 
terrible crisis of her history. 

4th A ugust.-**" Mean while we cannot be too grateful to God 
for our exemption in Calcutta from actual outbreak. There has 
been no end of alarm and panic. For some time the authorities 

326 LITE OF DR. DUFF, 1857. 

looked on with something like infatuated blindness and indif- 
ference. At last they have been fairly aroused. The discovery 
of plot after plot, for a general rise of the natives and massacre 
of the Europeans, — the recently detected design of sixty sworn 
desperadoes to enter Fort William by scaling ladders in the 
night, murder the guards, and rescue the ex-king of Oudh, — 
the ascertained fact that, within the last two months, tens of 
thousands of muskets and other arms have been sold to Mu- 
hammadans and other natives, — the presentment of the Grand 
Jury, and a memorial from the Christian inhabitants imploring 
the Government to disarm the native population, — these and 
many other circumstances combined, at last roused our autho- 
rities to action. And as on Saturday last commenced the 
Muhammadan festival of the Bulcra Eed, to last for three days, 
strong parties of British troops, with picquets of volunteers, 
were posted all over the town. We had forty British soldiers 
in Cornwallis Square, who found quarters in our old Institution, 
while the officer in command was our guest. In the Muham- 
madan quarter some cannon were also planted. The prepara- 
tions were so complete, that any attempt at a successful rise 
was felt to be impracticable; and so, by God's great goodness, 
the festival has passed over without disturbance or bloodshed. 
The Mohurrum is approaching; and to it all are looking with 
gloomiest apprehensions. But our trust is in the Lord, Who 
hitherto has so wonderfully interposed for our deliverance. 

" Amid our personal sorrows and horror at the barbarities of 
the misguided sepoys and their allies, we, as Christians, have 
much need to watch our own spirits, lest the longing for re- 
tribution may swallow up the feeling of mercy. Already we 
begin to perceive here a recoil and reaction against the natives 
generally. But, as Christians, ought we not to lay it to heart, 
that the men who have been guilty of such outrages against 
humanity have been so just because they never, never came 
under the regenerating, softening, mellowing influences of the 
gospel of grace and salvation ? And their diabolical conduct, 
instead of being an argument against further labour and liberal- 
ity in attempting to evangelize this land, ought to furnish one 
of the most powerful arguments in favour of enhanced labour 
and liberality. 

hth Sejrtember. — " The British people should be jealously on 
their guard against the fair-weather representations of meu high 


in office, — men who from personal intercourse know nothing 
of native sentiment beyond the glozing lies of a few fawning 
sycophants, — men who, from motives of political partisanship 
and personal self-interest, are sorely tempted to mistake the 
apparent calm on the upper surface for peace, contentment, and 
loyalty. It is but right that the British people, to whom the 
God of Providence has so mysteriously entrusted the sovereignty 
of this vast Indian empire, should know the real state of native 
feeling towards us and our power, that they may insist on a 
searching scrutiny into the causes which may have superin- 
duced it, and, detecting the causes, may demand, as with a 
voice of thunder, some commensurate remedy. Their own 
character, their reputation for philanthropy and justice among 
the nations, and, above all, their own sense of stewardship and 
accountability to the great God for the amazing trust committed 
to them, all challenge them to a speedy and authoritative in- 
terposition in this terrific crisis of their paramount power in 
Asia. If they refrain, the certainty is, that though our gallant 
soldiers may, at the cost of torrents of human blood, effect and 
enforce an apparent pacification, there will not be introduced 
the elements of a permanent peace. Measures will be devised 
which, by their inadequacy and unadaptedness — 

" Can only skin and film the ulcerous part, 
While rank corruption, mining all within, 
Infects unseen." 

Eailways, and telegraphs, and irrigating canals, and other ma- 
terial improvements, alone will not do. Mere secular education, 
sharpening the intellect, and leaving the heart a prey to all the 
foulest passions and most wayward impulses, will not do. Mere 
legislation, which, in humanely prohibiting cruel rites and bar- 
barous usages, goes greatly ahead of the darkened intelligence 
of the people, will not do. New settlements of the revenue, 
and landed tenures, however equitable in themselves, alone will 
not do. Ameliorations in the present monstrous system of 
police and corrupting machinery of law courts, however advan- 
tageous, alone will not suffice. A radical organic change in 
the structure of government, such as would transfer it exclu- 
sively to the Crown, would not, could not, of itself furnish an 
adequate cure for our deep-seated maladies. No, no ! Perhaps 
the present earthquake shock which has passed over Indian 

328 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1857. 

society, upheaving and tearing to shreds some of the noblest 
monuments of material civilization, as well as the most im- 
proved expedients of legislative and administrative wisdom, 
has been permitted to prove that all merely human plans and 
systems whatsoever, that exclude the life-awakening, elevating, 
purifying doctrines of gospel grace and salvation, have impo- 
tence and failure stamped on their wrinkled brows. Let, then, 
the Christian people of the highly favoured British Isles, in 
their heaven-conferred prerogative, rise up, and, resistless as 
the ocean in its mighty swell, let them decree, in the name of 
Him that liveth for ever and ever, that henceforward those 
commissioned by them to rule over and administer justice to 
the millions of this land shall not dare, in their public acts and 
proclamations, practically to ignore or scornfully repudiate the 
very name and faith of Jesus, while they foster and honour the 
degrading superstitions of Brahma and Muhammad. Let the 
British Churches, at the same time, arise and resolve, at what- 
ever cost of self-denial, to grapple in right earnest, as they have 
never yet done, with the stupendous work of supplanting the 
three thousand years' consolidated empire of Satan in these 
vast realms, by the establishment of Messiah's reign. Then, 
instead of the fiendish howl, with its attendant rapine, and con- 
flagration, and massacre, we shall have millennial songs of 
gratitude and praise from the hearts and lips of ransomed 
myriads. Who can tell but that He who i rides in the whirl- 
wind and directs the storm ' may graciously overrule our present 
terrible calamities for the hastening on of this glorious con- 
summation ? — f Amen/ let us respond, f Yea, and Amen/ 

1st October. — " To-day the consummating message has 
reached Government by telegraph from Cawnpore, in these 
curt but emphatic terms : ' Delhi is entirely ours. God save 
the Queen ! Strong column in pursuit/ This brief but sig- 
nificant message, together with the previous ones, must, as you 
may readily suppose, have thrown strangely conflicting cur- 
rents of joy and sadness into the heart of a community already 
painfully agitated by the doubtful fate of Lucknow, and the 
disastrous rumours from other quarters, — joy, at the final 
re-capture of the great stronghold of the rebels, the con- 
tinued possession of which threw a halo of glory and triumph 
over their cause in the eyes of the millions of India, — sadness, 
at the uncertain fate of hundreds of beloved relatives and 


friends who may be found among the slain. Verily, it is a 
time for joining ' trembling with our mirth/ It is a time in 
which we have to sing of f mercy and of judgment.' Jehovah's 
right arm, with its glittering sword of justice, has swiftly de- 
scended upon us ; but in His great goodness we have not been 
wholly consumed. And in the midst of deserved wrath He 
is remembering undeserved mercy this day. 

2nd October. — " To-day a brief telegraphic message from 
Cawnpore has announced at last the relief of the Lucknow 
garrison by General Havelock's force. There must, however, 
have been desperate fighting, as the message reports four 
hundred killed and wounded, and among the former General 
Neil, the brave Madras officer who saved Benares and the 
fortress of Allahabad. He had, by his own deeds since he 
arrived amongst us, — deeds indicative of soldierly qualities of 
the very highest order, — become a universal favourite. And 
this day, I verily believe that his death will be mourned over 
by the whole of our Calcutta community, like that of a per- 
sonal friend. 

6th October. — " The case of Pesbawur, the remotest and most 
critically situated of all the Punjab stations, is most remark- 
able and instructive. The Muhammad an population of that 
city is singularly fanatical. The city is encompassed with hill 
tribes as daring as they are fanatical. The first British Politi- 
cal Resident there, after the conquest of the Punjab, full of 
antiquated antichristian fears, declared that so long as he lived 
there should not be a Christian mission beyond the Indus. 
Subsequently, the Resident was assassinated by a Muhamma- 
dan fanatic. His successor was the famous Major Edwardes, 
of Mooltan celebrity, — a man who, happily, fears God and loves 
the Saviour and His cause. When it was proposed to establish 
a mission at Peshawur, he at once fearlessly headed it, and 
openly declared, in substance, that the Christianization of India 
ought to be regarded as the ultimate end of our continued 
possession of it. At the outbreak of the great rebellion, nearly 
the whole of the native regiments (eight in number) at the 
station showed symptoms of disaffection and mutiny. Most of 
them had to be disarmed ; and one of them has since been cut 
to pieces. In the midst of these frightful internal troubles, 
and surrounded on all sides with a fiercely fanatical people, 
what were the missionaries to do ? If they were even called on 

330 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1857. 

by the authorities to pause for a season, no one could nave been 
much surprised. But no ; Sir John Lawrence, the Chief Com- 
missioner, and Mr. Montgomery, the Judicial Commissioner, 
of the Punjab, in reference to them, in substance replied, ( Let 
the preaching and other missionary operations by no means be 
suspended/ Oh, how true the saying, ' Them that honour Me 
I will honour ! ' At Peshawar, amidst almost unparalleled 
difficulties, the British have been able to hold their own; the 
Punjab has been preserved in tranquillity; and not ouly so, 
but has been able to furnish nearly all the troops that have 
now so triumphantly recaptured Delhi ! Are not these sug- 
gestive facts ? Indeed it is scarcely too much to say, that it is 
the Punjab which has mainly saved our Indian empire. 

8th December. — " The relief of Lucknow and the victory of 
Cawnpore are, in themselves, joyous events. But the former 
was accomplished at the cost of scores of officers and hundreds 
of men, killed and wounded, — bringing sorrow and bereave- 
ment into the bosom of many a family circle. And amongst 
the killed we have now to reckon one whose death will be felt 
as a national loss. At the close of my last letter, I found my- 
self writing under an uncontrollable impulse of sadness, at the 
bare thought of the friends or acquaintances (then unknown) 
who might or must have fallen amid the terrific conflicts at 
Lucknow. At the very time I was writing, another of our 
immortal leaders, General Havelock, was expiring of fatigue 
and wounds, in the midst of those whom his own intrepid 
bravery had relieved. I knew him personally, having been 
privileged to make his acquaintance many years ago, under the 
hospitable roof of the late revered Dr. Marshman, of Seram- 
pore, whose son-in-law he was. Somewhat stern and reserved 
he was in manner, yet you could not be long in his presence 
without finding that he was a man who feared God, — and that, 
fearing God, he feared nought else besides. It was this holy 
reverential fear of God that was the real source of his un- 
daunted courage in the discharge of duty, at whatever peril to 
life or fortuue. His, in this respect, was the genuine spirit of 
the old English Puritan, — the very spirit of Oliver Cromwell 
and his compeers. And the tendency was to turn the British 
soldiers, under his exclusive moulding, into a phalanx of 
modern Ironsides. He was the first of our Generals who dis- 
tinctly recognise4 the hand of God in his surprising victories 


over the mighty host of rebel mutineers. " By the blessing of 
God I have captured Cawnpore," were the first words of his 
memorable telegraphic despatch from that scene of one of the 
strangest and bloodiest tragedies ever enacted on the stage of 
time. Faithful as a patriot warrior to his earthly sovereign, 
he lived to receive from her gracious Majesty a first instal- 
ment of honour and reward, and to hear how a grateful country 
had hailed his great services with unbounded admiration and 
applause. But faithful also as a soldier of the Cross to his 
Sovereign in the skies, he has now gone to receive a far greater 
honour, and inherit a vastly nobler recompence of reward. He 
has gone, ripe in grace, to fructify in glory ! What a tran- 
sition ! From the confused noise of battle, to the hallelujahs 
of angels ! From garments rolled in blood, to the pure white 
robes of the redeemed in Immanuel's land. 

24th December, — " This mail will convey further accounts of 
successes gained over the rebels in different parts of India. 
As to the vastness of the field, one has only to cast one's eye 
over a good map, and note the scenes of Colonel Durand's re- 
cent successful operations at Mhow, Dhar, and Mundesor, to the 
west and north of Indore, in the great province of Malwa, Central 
India ; then, at the scenes of Brigadier Showers' equally suc- 
cessful operations at Kurnal, and other places to the west and 
north of Delhi; then at the great heart of all our troubles, 
Oudh, with its adjacent provinces, where our brave Comman- 
der-in-Chief has of late been adding to his immortal laurels; 
and lastly, run along Jubbulpore, Saugor, and other stations 
in the Nerbudda territories, where our countrymen are still 
helplessly hemmed in on all sides ; or around the western, 
northern, and eastern frontiers of Bengal, where bands of 
mutineers and rebels are scouring the country, plundering the 
villages, and perpetuating a chronic state of consternation and 
panic, — one has only calmly to survey all this, to be impressed 
with a deep sense of the greatness of the work that is before 
us, ere we can look for the complete restoration of tranquillity 
and order. 

" As regards individuals, I have on principle abstained from 
naming any, except when I have had something good to say of 
them. Of the present head of the Government I have written 
in strong terms, where his measures were such that I could 
conscientiously do so. This I can truly say, that I believe no 

332 LIFE OF DR. PUFF. 1857. 

Governor-General ever came to India with a more sincerely 
honest desire to do what he could towards the material im- 
provement of the country, and the intellectual an'd social 
advancement of the people. His conduct relative to the ad- 
mission of the evidences of revealed religion into the examina- 
tions for degrees in our Indian Universities, was altogether 
admirable. In the subject of native female education, and 
the re-marriage of Hindu widows, thousands of whom are mere 
children, he took the profoundest interest. For months before 
the outbreak of the mutinies, he was labouring to secure full 
and accurate information relative to the exposure of the sick 
on the banks of the Ganges, and the monstrous system of 
Koolin polygamy, with a prospective view to possible legisla- 
tive measures. His manly bearing and prompt energy, after 
tidings had reached of the awful massacres at Meerut and 
Delhi, gained him at the time general admiration. And if, in 
the subsequent course and progress of the great rebellion, 
measures have been proposed and adopted, with at least his 
sanction, — measures which, to most of the non-government 
British residents here appeared incommensurate with the re- 
quirements of the terrible exigency, still, I could not join in 
the hue and cry raised against him, — could be no party to the 
memorial for his recall, because I felt that sufficient allow- 
ance had not been made for the unexpected novelty and extra- 
ordinary difficulties of his position, — difficulties more than 
enough to try the nerves of a Clive or Warren Hastings. Had 
not all incipient projects of an ameliorative character been 
suddenly arrested by the volcanic eruption which has upheaved 
the very foundations of the long established order of things, 
my decided impression was, and still is, that he would have 
proved one of the most useful and successful peace-governors 
whom India ever had. And in a crisis so very peculiar, if not 
unprecedented, it is undoubtedly easier to find fault with the 
doings of one man, than to point unerringly to another who 
would have steered the vessel of state with less damage 
through the breakers. 

" But whilst the proceedings of individuals, especially in 
situations of great and complicated embarrassment, ought to be 
treated with the utmost possible leniency and forbearance, little 
favour need be shown to persistence in a wrong or mistaken 
policy. Now, it is the old ( traditional policy ' of the Home 

^Et. 51. A WEAK POLICY. 333 

and Foreign Indian Government, and the system of action 
which has naturally sprung out of it, under which we have 
been really groaning. Perhaps the most distinguishing quality 
of i the policy ' has been its shrinking dread, if not actual 
repudiation, of Christianity, and its co-relative pandering to 
heathenish prejudices; while the unworthy system of which 
it is the parent has been partly nurtured and consolidated by 
the past exclusiveness and high predominance of the civil ser- 
vice, with the peculiar airs and habitudes of thought, feeling, 
and action, which such exclusiveness and predominance could 
not fail to generate. But such a representation of the policy 
and the system does not in any way impeach the personal 
honour or integrity of the men who are its chief hereditary 
upholders. Far from it. On every fitting occasion have I cor- 
dially testified to the undisputed claim of the civil service, as 
a class, to the possession of these qualities. There have, too, 
at all times been individual members of the service pre- 
eminently noted for meekness, gentleness, and amiableness of 
disposition, — men who have nobly risen above its caste-con- 
ventionalities, distinctive usages, and marked tendencies to 
overweening conceit and overbearing arrogance. Still, the 
system, as a whole, both as regards its own intrinsic nature 
and extrinsic working and development, is generally felt out 
here to be very much what 1 so freely and bluntly character- 
ized it in a previous communication. And it is from the 
shackles of this system that all independent minds for the 
sake of India and the cause of truth and righteousness, are 
sighing for deliverance.'" 

The time came when, delivered from the purely 
bureaucratic influences of councillors who knew 
nothing of the people of India outside of Lower 
Bengal, and planted at Allahabad to superintend the 
tardy process of the reconstruction of the adminis- 
trative machine, Lord Canning himself confessed to 
Sir William Muir that he would have done things very 
differently if he had known the facts. His terrible 
failure to disarm the sepoys at Dinapore, in spite of 
the example and the entreaty of John Lawrence, 

334 LI ^ OF DR. DUFF. 1857. 

directly permitted, if it did not invite, all the sub- 
sequent horrors, from Benares and Allahabad to 
Cawnpore and Lucknow, by delaying or detaining the 
precious British troops which would otherwise have 
been at once hurried on from the Raneegunge railway 
station to Cawnpore, as John Lawrence sent his to 
Delhi. For this the system of party politics which 
sends out an inexperienced Viceroy every five or six 
years to rule, autocratically in the last resort, an empire 
of the magnitude and variety of Europe, is largely re- 
sponsible. If the Mutiny had come at the close instead 
of at the beginning of Lord Canning's too brief term of 
office, how differently would he have met it. If, to go 
a step farther back, the repeated military minutes sent 
home by Lord Dalhousie, in the ripeness of his experi- 
ence, had been attended to, there would have been no 
opportunity for all the anarchic elements, which our 
civilization keeps in check till Christianity can remove 
them, to have burst forth. 

Not only were Christian men profoundly moved by 
what seemed to some to be the death-throes of an 
empire. Many an Anglo-Indian found in 1857 that 
life had a new meaning for them because Christ had 
a new power. As in a shipwreck, the upheaving of 
government, of society, of the unknown gulf of Asiatic 
passions, revealed most men and women to themselves. 
From many such a cry went up for a day of national 
prayer and humiliation. Daniel Wilson was still 
Metropolitan, and Archdeacon Pratt was at his side. 
In his letter of the 19th October, 1857, Dr. Duff wrote 
of the bishop as " a man on whom age has conferred 
the spiritual sagacity of a seer, in blessed union with 
the mellow piety of a ripened saint, — a man in whose 
character a noble lion-like fortitude in the advocacy 
of pure evangelical truth is now beautifully blended 
and harmonised with a lamb-like demeanour in the 

jEt. 51. bishop wilson's appeal to the government. 335 

whole of his personal conduct. From the very first 
he exerted his great influence with all classes in ex- 
citing them to a spirit of humiliation and prayer before 
God. He held two public services on week-days in 
his own cathedra], on both which occasions he preached, 
though now in his eightieth year, two vigorous and 
appropriate sermons, which have since been published. 
He invited to social prayer and supplication, in his 
own house, the ministers of all churches and de- 
nominations — himself presiding, patriarch-like, and 
asking others to share with him in the devotional 
exercises. He made repeated private personal appli- 
cations to the Governor-General, entreating him to 
appoint a special day for humiliation and prayer before 
God, but, with sorrow I have to add, altogether in 
vain. At last a public meeting of Christian inhabitants 
was held, and a memorial on the subject, addressed to 
Lord Canning, agreed to and numerously and respect- 
ably signed. The response to this memorial was the 
issue of a proclamation by the Governor-General in 
Council, which sadly disappointed all God-fearing 
people, and added another to the many recent acts 
of our higher authorities which have tended, un- 
happily, to lower them in the estimation of the general 
Christian community of this place. The appointment 
of a week-day was declined, though the same papers 
which published this proclamation announced the 
closing of all Government offices for about ten days 
in honour of the most celebrated of our idolatrous 
festivals, — the Doorga Pooja. But this was not the 
worst feature of it. As if afraid or ashamed to allude 
to the existence of the only true religion, — that on 
whose origination, and maintenance, and outspreading, 
the energies of the Godhead are embarked, — no re- 
ference whatever was made in it to Christ, or Chris- 
tianity, or Christians." 

336 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. i8$>j. 

The Free Church Presbytery fixed Sunday, the 
25th October, as the day for a special service, which 
they appointed Dr. Duff to conduct. Members of the 
Government were present in the crowd of worshippers. 
With the intensity of his whole nature strung to an 
even higher pitch than usual, Dr. Duff seems to have 
come forth as a rapt prophet. The Government 
which would not disarm the Dinapore brigade had 
gagged even the loyal English press, but speech was 
free. The Friend of India had been " warned/' be- 
cause its temporary editor had dared, in an article 
published on the Centenary of Plassey, to express the 
hope that when the next centenary came round the 
princes of India might be Christian. On his return 
the responsible editor, Mr. Meredith Townsend, spoke, 
also in the Free Church of Calcutta, what the Press 
Act might have prevented him from publishing. But 
although the newspapers wrote thus, when lamenting 
the absence of a report of Dr. Duff's sermon, we may 
be sure that he lifted up his subject from the platform 
of politics and even history to the lofty level of seer 
and of psalmist. This was the Hurkaru's comment : 

u Those who heard it, will not easily forget Dr. Duffs elo- 
quent discourse on Sunday morning, Oct. 25th. If we have 
refrained up to the present moment from commenting upon it, 
it was because we indulged the hope that, like the sermons on 
the present crisis preached by the Bishop and Mr. Pratt, this 
too might be published. We should be sorry indeed if such 
an able analysis, such a searching aud scathing expose of our 
position, and of the causes which have mainly led to it, should 
be kept back from the light. It is true that the times are not 
favourable to such publications, more especially to that class 
in which the affairs of the Government are touched upon; but 
we should be sorry to think that an exposition of gospel truth 
the application of the Bible to the present state of affairs, could 
be brought within the meaning of Act XV. In expressing, 
then, an earnest desire that the sermon may yet be published, 


we record, we feel assured, the sentiments of all who heard 
it preached. It was impossible not to observe the audience, 
their attention firmly riveted on the eloquent preacher as he 
poured forth in fervid and impassioned sentences all the fire 
of his soul : it was impossible to behold him, the impersonifi- 
cation of intellect, excited and animated beyond its ordinary 
phase, without recalling the days of the Reformation and the 
Covenanters. As Dr. Duff appeared on Sunday last, such was 
John Knox, dealing out his iron- fisted blows : such were those 
old Fathers of the Scottish faith who bound themselves by solemn 
covenant to resist the encroachments of popish and prelatic 
domination. It was impossible for any one read in history to 
resist the apt association. We say nothing of the words of 
the preacher, full of the force of truth, of the grandest elo- 
quence ; we say nothing of his doctrines, clear and convincing 
as they appeared to us : our eyes were on the man himself, on 
that fragile body not only supported, but borne on to such 
unusual exertion, by the power of the light within. Seldom 
have we seen so great a victory of mind over matter. It was 
to us a grand intellectual display, exerted for the noblest 
ends, with a success which could not have been surpassed. 
May we not hope, then, that those burning sentences and those 
impassioned arguments will yet be recorded ? " 

The congregation contributed some two thousand 
rupees to the Patriotic Fund which the whole British 
Empire raised for the surviving families of the mas- 
sacred and the wounded. It is desirable that the 
accounts of that Fund, as it still exists, should be 
submitted to the nation.* Other practical forms of 
benevolence which the crisis called forth from Dr. 
Duff, were a statement on the relation of Government 
to caste, adopted by the Calcutta Missionary Confer- 
ence ; counsel and assistance to the American Epis- 
copal Methodist Mission, which, recently established at 

* Every year sees a diminution in the number of annuitants and 
pensioners on the Fund. In 1871 there were 569, in 1874 they 
were 355. The call on the capital is becoming so reduced that the 
time has come to provide publicly for its application. 


3$S LIFE OF DR. HUFF. ^57. 

Bareilly, he urged to take possession of Oudh ; and 
aid to such other new missions, like the Christian Ver- 
nacular Education Society, as the quickened conscience 
of England and Scotland called into existence. While 
be preached and published in Calcutta, statesmen like 
Sir John Lawrence, Sir Donald M'Leod, Sir Robert 
Montgomery and Sir Herbert Edwardes were submit- 
ting to Lord Canning the most masterly state papers* 
on the same subject of what they called " the elimin- 
ation of all unchristian principle from the Government 
of India." 

For months had mutiny and massacre swept over 
Hindostan, the land between the Vindhyas and the 
Himalayas : how did the fiery trial affect the Church of 
India ? For by 1857 there was a Native Church, pas- 
tors and flocks, in the great cities and scattered among 
the villages, not unlike that which, in very different 
circumstances, Diocletian thought to wipe out of the 
Roman Empire. Few, save the missionaries who had 
been blessed to bring it to the birth, and officials of 
the Lawrence stamp who fostered its growth, knew of 
what stuff its members were made. Few believed that 
the converts, despised by a world which knew them 
not because so little familiar with their Master, would 
pass through the fiery trial to the confessors crown 
and the martyr's palm. The Mutiny did not seek 
Christians particularly, any more than it had been 
specially excited by Christian progress. In Madras, 
where the Native Church was oldest and strongest, and 
in Bombay, where the five causes of insurrection 
alleged by the antichristian party of politicians had 

* See (a) Sir John Lawrence's Mutiny Despatch, of 1858 ; (l) 
the most famous of all his minutes, that of 21st April, 1858, with 
the papers of Sir Donald M'Leod and Herbert Edwardes ; and (c) 
Sir K. Montgomery's Order on the appointment of Native Chris- 
tians to public offices. 


been most active, there was no mutiny. Native Chris- 
tians were simply identified by the rebels with the 
governing class, but were generally offered their lives 
at the price of denying their Lord. Missionaries and 
converts were sacrificed or hunted, because they were 
in exposed places or had the courage to remain at the 
post of duty, but the number who perished was not out 
of proportion to other classes of victims. Of the fifteen 
hundred white Christians believed to have been butch- 
ered by the sepoys and their rabble agents, 240 were 
military officers out of the 4,000 in the Bengal army, 
and 87 were missionaries, chaplains and their families, 
out of a body of 300, probably, over the same area. 

When Dr. Duff founded his system in Calcutta, in 
1830, there were not more than 27,000 native Chris- 
tians, Protestants, in the whole peninsula and the 
adjoining lands of Ceylon and Burma. This was the 
result of a century's evangelizing on the old method in 
South India.* By 1840, this number had risen to 
only 57,000 ; but by 1850 a census shows that it had 
become 3 27,000. When the anarchy of Islam and 
Brahmanism was let loose in 1857, there cannot have 
been more than 150,000. Then was realized the old 
experience of the Apostolic and Reformed Churches, 
the truth of the saying of Tertullian, that the blood of 
the martyrs is the seed of the Church. Since the 
Mutiny and because of the Mutiny, the Church of 
India, now indigenous and self-developing as well 
as fostered by foreign overseers, has become half a 
million strong. The last census showed 318,363 
Protestant natives at the end of 1871, and an increase 
annually of 6to per cent by births and accretions. The 
next will be taken at the end of 1881. This is exclusive 

_ * According to the late Kev. Dr. Mullens and Rev. M. A. Sh er- 
ring, LL.B., the able and cautious statists of India Missions. 




of an alleged three-quarters of a million of Roman 
Catholic natives, as returned by their priests on a con- 
fessedly loose system. 

How, then, did the Native Church of 1857, some 
150,000 strong, pass through the year of blood and 
persecution ? Mr. Sherring compiled an authentic 
narrative of the facts, which, as published in 1859, was 
admitted by friend and foe to be within the truth. 
This is the first martyr roll of the Church of India. 

Missionaries and Chaplains. 

Rev. M. J. Jennings, Chaplain of 
Delhi, and Miss Jennings. Both 
killed in their own house on the 
gate of the palace. 

Rev. A. R. Hubbard, of the Pro- 
pagation of the Gospel Society, 
Delhi. Killed by the mutineers 
in the Delhi Bank. 

Rev. John Mackay, of the Baptist 
Missionary Society, Delia. De- 
fended himself with several 
friends in Col. Skinner's house 
for three or four days, when the 
roof of the cellar in which they 
had taken shelter was dug up 
by order of the king, and they 
were all killed. 

Mr. David Corrie Sandys, of the 
Propagation Society, Delhi, and 
son of the Rev. T. Sandys, of 
the Church Society, Calcutta. 
Killed by the mutineers near 
the magazine, in attempting to 
return from the Mission-school 
to his own house. 

Mr. Cocks and Mr. Louis Koch, 
both of the Propagation Society. 
Killed by the mutineers in the 
Delhi Bank. 

Mrs. Thompson, widow of the 
Rev. J. T. Thompson, formerly 
Baptist Missionary in Delhi, and 
her two adult daughters. All 
three killed in their own house 
in Delhi. 

Rev. Thomas Hunter, Missionary 
of the Church of Scotland, 
Sialkot, Mrs. Hunter, and their 
infant child. Killed in their 

Native Christians. 

Wilayat Ali, Catechist of the Bap- 
tist Mission, Delhi. Killed by 
a party of Muhammadans in the 
streets of Delhi, at the time of 
the outbreak 

Thakoor, Catechist of the Propa- 
gation Society's Mission, Delhi. 
Killed by troopers in the streets 
of Delhi. 

Dhokul Parshad, head-teacher of 
the Futtehghur Mission-schools, 
his wife, and four children. All 
killed in company with the 
Europeans on the parade at 
Futtehghur. The sepoys first 
fired grape on the party, and 
then despatched the survivors 
with their swords. 

Paramanand, Catechist of the 
Baptist Mission, Mnttra. Killed 
by the rebels. 



buggy, while fleeing to the forb. 
A ball passing through the face 
of Mi*. Hunter, entered the neck 
of his wife ; a gaol warder 
completed the murder with a 
swoni, killing the child also. 

Rev. John M'Oallum, Officiating 
Chaplain of Shahjehanpore. 
Rushing from the church, 
where the residents had assem- 
bled lor Divine worship, on its 
being surrounded by the mutin- 
ous sepoys, he escaped with the 
loss of one of his hands ; but in 
the evening of the same day, he 
was attacked by labourers in a 
field, and was finally decapitated 
by a Pathan. 

Rev. J. E. Freeman and Mrs. 
Freeman; Rev. D. E. Campbell, 
Mrs. Campbell, and their two 
children; Rev. A. O. Johnson, 
and Mrs. Johnson ; Rev. R. 
M'Mullen and Mrs. M'Mullen, 
of the American Presbyterian 
Board of Missions, Futtehghur. 
All killed by the Nana at 

Rev. F. Fisher, Chaplain of Fut- 
tehghur, Mrs. Fisher and their 
infant child. Escaping from 
Futtehghur in boats, they were 
attacked by sepoys, and on 
jumping into the river, Mr. 
Fisher swam with his wife and 
child towards the bank, bnt they 
were both drowned in Ids arms 
on the way. Mr. Fisher was 
afterwards captured by the 
Nana's party, and slain at or 
near Caw n pore. 

Rev. E. T. R. Moncrieff, Chaplain 
of Cawnpore, Mrs. Moncrieff, 
and their child. Mr. Moncrieff 
was killed in the inrrenchments 
on the ninth day of the siege. 

Rev. W. H. Haycock, of the Pro- 
pagation Society, Cawnpore, and 
Mrs. Haycock, his mother. 
Both killed at Cawnpore. Mr. 
Haycock was shot just as he 
was entering the intrenchments. 

Rev. H. E. Coekey, of the Pro- 
pagation Society, Cawnpore. 
Wounded in the thigh by a 
musket-ball, and afterwards shot 
on the parade-ground at Cawn- 

Solomon, Catechist of the Propa- 
gation Society's Mission, Cawn- 
pore. Cruelly put to death by 
the Hindoos during the occupa- 
tion of Cawnpore by the Gwalior 

Ram Chandra Mitter, Head-master 
of the American Presbyterian 
Mission-school, Futtehpore. 
Supposed to have been murdered 
at or near Futtehpore. 

Jiwan Masih, Catechist. Supposed 
to have been killed near Dela- 

Sri Nath Bhose, formerly Catechist 
and Teacher, his wife and chil- 
dren. All supposed to have 
been murdered in Oudh. 

Raphael, Catechist of the Church 
Mission, Goruckpore. Died 
from wounds inflicted by the 
rebels, and from anxiety and 
sickness, during the troubles in 

There is a name left, which should 
live in the memories oi: God's 
people. Chaman Lai, Sub- As- 
sistant-Surgeon of Delhi ; was 
massacred by the mutineers in 
his own house in Delhi. He was 
a man of exemplary piety, and 
was thoroughly in earnest in his 




Christian life and profession. 
The Native Church has lost in 
him one of its brightest orna- 

To these must be added the names, 
as confessors, of others such as 
the Rev. Gopeenath Nundi, his 
wife and children, at Allahabad. 

pore, together with other Euro- 
peans, in the presence of the 

Rev. G. W. Coopland, Chaplain of 
Gwalior. Killed on occasion of 
the mutiny of the Gwalior Con- 

Rev. H. I. Polebampton, Chaplain 
of Lucknow. Shot by a mus- 
ket-ball, while attending on the 
sick in one of the hospitals in 
the Residency ; bub partially re- 
covering from his wound, eventu- 
ally sank from an attack of 

Rev. W. Glen, Agra, son of the 
late Dr. Glen, of Persia, and 
formerly Missionary of the 
London Missionary Society, 
Mirzapore, and his infant child. 
Both died in the fort of Agra 
from privations. 

Mrs. Buyers, wife of the Rev. W. 
Buyers, Missionary of the Lon- 
don Missionary Society, Benares. 
Died from dysentery, brought 
on chiefly by anxiety of mind 
induced by the disturbances in 

The names in these two lists of very special interest 
to Dr. Duff were those of Mr. and Mrs. Hunter, of 
the Established Church of Scotland ; and of his own 
third convert, Gopeenath Nundi. The former, apart 
from their worth and their work in founding a Mission 
which he had urged on the Church at the Disruption, 
had been inspired by Dr. Duff when at Aberdeen, and 
the Rev. R. Hunter, of the Free Church Mission at 
Nagpore, was their elder brother. Earn Chandra 
Mitter, who perished at Futtehpore, was described by 
Gopeenath as " a zealous Christian, educated in the 
General Assembly's Institution, Calcutta." Fortun- 
ately we have the personal narrative of Gopeenath, 
confirmed by that of the late Dr. Owen, and forming 
not the least pathetic and instructive of the Indian 
Acta Martyrum Sincera. 

Soon after his baptism at the end of 1832, which 


was preceded by imprisonment and persecution on the 
part of his caste-fellows, Gopeenath Nundi was sent 
by Dr. Duff to open a mission school established by 
the surgeon and other British residents in Futtehpore. 
After founding and working that under the Church 
Missionary Society, he was ordained by the American 
Presbyterians to open a mission in Futtehghur. Hav- 
ing for sixteen years built up the native church there, 
he returned in 1853 to take charge of the Presby- 
terian mission in his old station of Futtehpore. There 
he preached to Europeans and natives alike, in the 
absence of a chaplain, and there he was assisted by 
Mr. Robert Tucker, the judge of the county. In no 
part of India, where all Christians are catholic, did 
those who named the name of Christ, of every sect 
and colour, meet and work together with greater har- 
mony and zeal, and the Bengalee convert of Dr. Duff 
was their minister. This roused the hate of the 
Muhammadan community, at whose head was the 
deputy, Hikmut Oollah Khan. He found his oppor- 
tunity when the news reached the town that, on the 
7th June, the sepoys had risen in Allahabad, seventy- 
eight miles nearer Calcutta, and had massacred their 
officers, wounding the few who, like Ensign Cheke, 
managed to escape. The Christian residents of Fut- 
tehpore were driven to flight, by the rise of the rabble 
and the burning of their houses. Tucker alone would 
not move. He believed in the police, of whom he said, 
" I am going to put myself at the head of my brave 
legionaries" and he sent for Hikmut Oollah Khan to 
concert measures for the preservation of the Govern- 
ment property. " Tell the Saheb," was the response, 
" to make himself happy, and when I come in the 
evening I will give him eternal rest." The godly 
judge, the brave official, had his eyes opened, but he 
would not leave the post of duty. Having read the 

344 L1FE 0F DR. DUFF. 1857. 

comfortable words of Scripture and commended him- 
self to God, he brought out all the arms he had and 
prepared to defend his life. Sunset saw the " brave 
legionaries" under Hikmut Oollah Khan, with the green 
flag of Islam, enter his park. Summoned to abjure 
Christ and accept Muhammad, he resolutely refused. 
As the police guard advanced he shot fourteen or 
sixteen of them — the accounts vary — before he fell 
confessing Christ. Robert Tucker is the glory of the 
Bengal civil service, and he was not alone in his 
heroism or in his confession. 

By the magistrate's orders the Rev. Gopeenath 
Nundi had left for Allahabad, a few days earlier, in 
charge of all the Christian women of the station, only 
to find that they had run into greater danger. The 
women returned to their husbands, while he, his wife 
and children set off to the missionary station of Mirza- 
pore. After the first day's march of fourteen miles 
in the heat of June, they found shelter in the village 
of a Brahman, who sought only to kill them for what 
they possessed. The scenes of horror witnessed there 
— for the armed villagers butchered all travellers whom 
they could not easily rob — may be imagined from this 
instance. A Hindoo leather-worker, of low caste, 
returning from Cawnpore, saw his wife stripped of 
every rag and their infant swung by the feet till its 
brains were dashed out upon a stone, while he himself 
was driven off naked. Determined to return to Alla- 
habad, Gopeenath gave up all he possessed ; " they did 
not leave us the single Bible we had ; our shoes also 
were taken." While the Brahmans quarrelled over 
the booty the Christian family fled. 

" We went up to a well, and the people gave us water to 
drink. We then came to a potter's house, and begged him to 
give us a ghurra (pot), which he did. I filled it with water, 


that we might have a supply; for water in that part of the 
country, especially in the months of May and June, is very 
scarce and only found in deep wells. We travelled till nine 
a.m., when both ourselves and our dear children (two of them 
six years and the baby one year old) felt fatigued and tired, 
and sat down under the shade of a tree. The poor children 
cried most bitterly from hunger, but we had nothing to give 
them. We laid our petition before that God who fed His 
people, the Jews, with manna in the wilderness; and indeed He 
heard our prayer. We saw from a distance a marriage proces- 
sion coming towards us ; I went up to them, and they gave us 
five pice, which enabled me to buy suttoo (flour of grain) and 
goor (coarse sugar). With this we fed the children, and 
resumed our journey. We travelled till eleven a.m., when we 
found that our three children, having been struck by the sun, 
were on the point of death; for the sun was very powerful, and 
the hot wind blew most fearfully. Seeing no village near (and 
indeed, if there had been any, we should not have gone to it, 
for fear of losing our lives), we took shelter under a bridge, 
and having gathered some sand, made our poor children lie 
down. But they seemed dying, and we had no medicine to 
give them. We raised our hearts in prayer to our great 
Physician, who is always more ready to hear than we are to 
apply to Him. He heard our supplications. We saw a small 
green mango hanging on a tree, though the season was nearly 
over. I brought it down, and having procured a little fire 
from a gang of robbers who were proceeding to Allahabad to 
plunder, I roasted it and made some sherbet, and gave it to 
the children to drink. People of the poorer classes, when 
struck by the sun, always administer this as a medicine. It 
acted like a charm, and revived the children. From inability 
to proceed any farther, we made up our minds to remain there 
till next morning; but towards sunset the zemindar of the 
nearest village, a Hindoo by caste, came with the assurance 
that no injury should be done us, took us to his house, and 
comfortably kept us through the night, supplying all our 
urgent wants. We partook of his hospitality, and slept very 
soundly, as we had been deprived of rest for three days and 
three nights. 

" Early on the following morning we left our kind host's 
house, and started for Allahabad, which was only three miles 

34-6 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1857. 

off. We arrived at the ghaut about nine a.m. ; and, while 
crossing the river Jumna, we saw, with heartfelt sorrow, that 
the mission bungalow was burnt to ashes, and the beautiful 
church totally disfigured. On our arrival swarms of Muham- 
madans fell upon us ; but our gracious Father again saved us, 
by raising up a friend from amongst the foes. This was a 
goldsmith, a Hindoo by caste, who took us into his house, 
and kept us safe through the day. At sunset, when we left 
his protection, we fell into the hands of some other Muhani- 
madans, who were roaming about like ferocious animals, thirst- 
ing after blood. When we saw there was no way to escape, 
and the villains ready to kill us, we begged them hard to take 
us to their head, the Moulvie, who for some days usurped the 
supreme authority there. With great difficulty we induced 
them to comply with our wishes. When we were brought 
before him, we found him seated on a chair, surrounded by 
men with drawn swords. We made our salaams ; upon which 
he ordered us to sit down, and put to us the following ques- 
tions : ' Who are you V i Christians.' ' What place do you 
come from?' f Futtehpore.' 'What was your occupation V 
t Preaching and teaching the Christian religion.' ' Are you a 
padre V ' Yes, sir/ * ' Was it not you who used to go about 
reading and distributing tracts in the streets and villages ? ' 
' Yes, sir ; it was I and my catechists.' ' How many Christians 
have you made V 'I did not make any Christians, for no 
human being can change the heart of another ; but God, 
through my instrumentality, brought to the belief of His true 
religion about a couple of dozens/ On this the man exclaimed, 
in a great rage, and said, ' Tauba ! tauba ! (repent) . What 
downright blasphemy ! God never makes any one a Chris- 
tian ; but you Kaffirs pervert the people. He always makes 
people Mussulmans; for the religion which we follow is the 
only true one. How many Muhammadans have you perverted 
to your religion ?' 'I have not perverted any one, but, by 
tlie grace of God, ten were turned from darkness to the glorious 
light of the gospel/ Hearing this, the man's countenance 
became as red as fire ; and he exclaimed, ' You are a great 
"haramzadah" (traitor to your salt) ! you have renounced your 
forefathers' faith, and become a child of Satan, and now use 
your every effort to bring others into the same road of de- 
struction. You deserve a cruel death. Your nose, ears and 


hands should be cut off at different times, so as to make your 
sufferings continue for some time; and your children ought 
to be taken into slavery/ Upon this, Mrs. Nundi, folding 
her hands, said to the Moulvie, ' You will confer a very great 
favour by ordering us all to be killed at once, and not to be 
tortured by a lingering death/ After keeping silent for a 
while, he exclaimed, ' Subhan Allah, you appear to be a re- 
spectable man. I pity you and your family ; and, as a friend, 
I advise you to become Muhamrnadans : by doing so, you will 
not only save your lives, but will be raised to a high rank/ 
My answer was, { We prefer death to any inducement you can 
hold out/ The man then appealed to my wife, and asked her 
what she would do ? Her answer was, thank God, as firm as 
mine. She said, she was ready to submit to any punishment 
he could inflict, but she would not renounce her faith. The 
Moulvie then asked if I had read the Koran. My answer was, 
' Yes, sir/ He then said, ( You could not have read it with a 
view to be profited, but simply to pick out passages in order 
to argue with Muhamrnadans/ Moreover he said, ' I will 
allow you three days to consider, and then I will send for you 
and read a portion of the Koran to you. If you believe, and 
become Muhamrnadans, well and good; but if not, your noses 
shall be cut off/ We again begged and said to him, that what 
he intended to do had better be done at once, for as long as 
God continued His grace we would never change our faith. 
He then ordered his men to take us into custody. While on 
the way to the prison, I raised my heart in praise and adora- 
tion to the Lord Jesus, for giving us grace to stand firm, and 
to acknowledge Him before the world. When we reached the 
place of our imprisonment, which was a part of the Serai, 
where travellers put up for the night, and where his soldiers 
were quartered, we found there a European family and some 
native Christians. We felt extremely sorry at seeing them in 
the same difficulty with ourselves. After conversing together, 
and relating each other's distress, I asked them to join us in 
prayer, to which they readily consented. While we knelt down 
and prayed, one of the guards came, and, giving me a kick on 
the back, ordered me either to pray after the Muhammadan 
form, or to hold my tongue. 

" The next day, Ensign Cheke, an officer of the late 6th N. L, 
was brought in as a prisoner. He was so severely wounded, 

348 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1857. 

that lie was scarcely able to stand on his legs, but was on the 
point of fainting. I made some gruel of the suttoo and goor 
which we brought with us, and some of which was still left, 
and gave him to drink -, also a pot full of water. Drinking 
this, he felt refreshed, and opened his eyes. Seeing me, a 
fellow-prisoner and minister of the gospel, he related the 
history of his sufferings, and asked me, if I escaped in safety, 
to write to his mother in England, and to his aunt at Bau- 
coorah; which I have since done. As the poor man was 
unable to lie down on the bare hard ground, for that was all 
that was allotted to us, I begged the darogah to give him a 
charpoy. With great difficulty he consented to supply one; 
and that was a broken one. Finding me so kindly disposed to 
poor Cheke, the darogah fastened my feet in the stocks, and 
thus caused a separation, not only from him, but also from my 
poor family. While this was going on, a large body of armed 
men fell upon me, holding forth the promise of immediate 
release if I became a Muhammadan. At that time Ensign 
Cheke cried with a loud voice, and said, ' Padre, padre, be 
firm ; do not give way.' My poor wife, not willing to be 
separated, was dragged away by her hair, and received a 
severe wound in her forehead. The third day, the day ap- 
pointed for our final execution, now came, and we expected 
every moment to be sent for to finish our earthly course ; but 
the Moulvie did not do so. Every ten or fifteen minutes, some 
one of his people would come and try to convert us, threaten- 
ing, in case of refusal, to cut off our noses. It appeared that 
the cutting off of noses was a favourite pastime with them. 

" On the sixth day the Moulvie himself came over into the 
prison, and inquired where the padre prisoner was. When I 
was pointed out, he asked me if I was comfortable. My 
answer was, ' How can I be comfortable, whilst my feet are 
fastened in the stocks ? however, I am not sorry, because such 
has been the will of my heavenly Father/ I then asked him, 
( How he could be so cruel as not to allow a drop of milk to a 
poor innocent baby?' for our little one lived principally upon 
water those six days. The same day, the European and Sikh 
soldiers came out under Lieutenant Brasyer, and after a 
desperate fight, completely routed the enemy. Several dead 
and wounded were brought where we were, as that was his 
head-quarters. The sight of these convinced us that the 


enemies would take to their heels. They gradually began to 
disperse, and by the following morning not one remained. 
We then broke the stocks, liberated ourselves, and came into 
the fort to our friends, who were rejoiced to see us once more 
in the land of the living. Ensign Cheke died the same day, 
after reaching the fort. His wounds were so severe and so 
numerous, that it was a wonder how he lived so many days, 
without any food or even a sufficient quantity of water to 
quench his burning thirst. It must be a great consolation to 
his friends to hear that he died in the fort and received 
Christian burial. I had not sufficient conversation with him 
to know the real state of his mind ; but the few words he ex- 
pressed, at the time when the villains fastened my feet in the 
stocks, led me to believe that he died a Christian, and is now 
in the enjoyment of everlasting rest in heaven. 

" Other dear English and native Christians were in similar 
dangers and trials, but many if not all were massacred ; yet 
we are still in the land of the living. The manifestation of 
God's grace to us at the time we needed it most, was infinite. 
It was nothing but His grace alone that kept us firm. The 
enemy tried his utmost to throw us down. He put forth, on the 
one hand, all the worldly inducements a person can conceive, if 
we renounced our faith ; on the other hand, he brought before 
us a sure death, with all the cruelties a barbarous man could 
think of, if we did not become Muhammadans. But, thank 
God, we chose the latter. The sweet words of our blessed 
Saviour, which are recorded in the 18th, 19th, and 20th verses 
of the 10th chapter of St. Matthew, were strikingly fulfilled 
in our case : ' And ye shall be brought before governors and 
kings for My sake, for a testimony against them and the 
Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how 
or what ye shall speak : for it shall be given you in that same 
hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but 
the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you/ When the 
Moulvie failed by arguments, threats, etc., in bringing me to 
renounce my faith, he appealed to my wife ; but she too, thank 
God, was ready to give up her life rather than become a 
follower of the false prophet. When she saw the Moulvie was 
in a great rage, and was ready to order us to be tortured, by 
taking off our noses or ears, she began to instruct the twin 
boys — f You, my children, will be taken and kept as slaves, 

35° LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1857. 

while we shall be killed ; but remember my last words, do not 
forget to say your prayers both morning and evening, and as 
soon as you see the English power re-established, which will 
be before long, fly over to them, and relate to them everything 
that has befallen us/ ' For He said, Surely they are My 
people, children that will not lie : so He was their Saviour. 
In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His 
presence saved them : in His love and in His pity He redeemed 
them' (Isa. lxiii. 8, 9)." 

Gopeenath Nundi and his wife lived, after thus wit- 
nessing a good confession, to reorganize the Church 
of Futtehpore, but they soon after entered into the 
blessedness promised by the King : " Rejoice and be 
exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven." 
Thus did Dr. Duff see his Mission at once tried and 
consecrated anew. The Church of India undoubtedly 
had a few cases corresponding to the libellatici of that of 
the Roman Empire. Did not Europeans and Eurasians 
also in some instances fail in the hour of fiery temp- 
tation ? Repeat the Kalima, or creed of Islam, was 
the ordinary test, but in the native Christian woman's 
case the threat of the loss of honour was added to that 
of death ; yet the apostates were generally the ignorant 
drummer-boys, the only Christians admitted by a short- 
sighted Government into the Bengal army, from which 
every baptized sepoy was expelled. 

While the missionaries themselves were surprised by 
the steadfastness and the faith of converts whose 
physique was generally weak and their pra3-Christian 
associations demoralizing, the Government, led by the 
great Punjabee heroes, began to see that Christianity 
meant active loyalty. Native Christians, among them 
Mr. S. C. Mookerjea, of Dr. Duff's College, manned the 
guns in Agra Fort. Within a fortnight of the receipt 
of the Meerut massacre the Krishnaghur Christians — 
weak Bengalees — vainly offered " to aid the Govern- 


ment to the utmost of our power, both by bullock- 
gharries and men, or in any other way in which our 
services may be required, and that cheerfully without 
wages or remuneration." Those of Benares under 
Mr. Leupolt, formed a band which defended the mis- 
sion till Neil arrived, and they joined the new military 
police till the Calcutta authorities forbade them. Not 
a few, even then, served as men and officers with the 
police levy which saved Mirzapore, and in Mr. Hodg- 
son Pratt's corps which gave peace to Hooghly. The 
German missionaries in Chota Nagpore offered the 
blinded Government of Bengal a force of ten thousand 
Christian Kols ; and the American Dr. Mason volun- 
teered to send a battalion of Christian Karens from 
Burma. Even the Christians of South India pressed 
their services on the Madras Governor. But in 
every case the fear of an "invidious distinction" was 
assigned by the Bengal authorities, to the scorn of 
Dr. Duff, as a reason for refusing such aid. Yet there 
had always been Christians and even Jews in the Madras 
and Bombay armies, and there were not a few, Protes- 
tant and Romanist in the 17th M. N. I., which was 
fighting in Hindostan against the rebels. When it 
was too late, and all Behar was threatened, the 
Bengal Government eagerly sent to the missionaries, 
who had been by that time forced to flee for their 
lives, accepting the magnanimous offer. 

Dr. Duff did not confine his sympathies and aid to 
native Christians only. He wrote thus on the 6th 
October, i8o7 : 

" To prevent all misconception with reference to 
missionaries, it ought to be emphatically noted, that 
nowhere has any special enmity or hostility been mani- 
fested towards them by the mutineers. Far from it. 
Such of them as fell in the way of the rebels were 
simply dealt with precisely in the same way as all 

35 2 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1857. 

other Europeans were dealt with. They belonged to 
the governing class, and, as such, must be destroyed, 
to make way for the re-establishment of the old native 
Muharnmadan dynasty. The same actuating motive 
led to the destruction of native Christians, and all 
others who were friendly, or supposed to be friendly, 
to the British Government. In this way it is known 
that many of the natives of Bengal, who, from their 
superior English education, were employed in Govern- 
ment offices in the North- West, and were believed to 
be favourable to the continuance of our rule, were made 
to suffer severely both in life and property. Some of 
them were sadly mutilated after the approved Muharn- 
madan fashion, by having their noses slit up and ears 
cut off ; while others, amid exposures and sufferings, 
had to effect the same hair-breadth escapes as the 
Europeans. In short, I feel more than ever persuaded 
of the reality of the conviction which I entertained 
from the very first, tbat this monster rebellion has 
been mainly of a political, and but very subordinately 
of a religious character; and that the grand proximate 
ngency in exciting it was a treasonable Muharnmadan 
influence brought skilfully to bear on a soil prepared 
for its action by many concurring antecedent causes 
of disaffection and discontent. Brahmanical and other 
influences had doubtless their share in it; but the 
preponderant central element has been of Muharn- 
madan origin, directed to the realization of the long- 
cherished dynastic designs of Muharnmadan ambition. 
" By the natives generally no special animosity has 
been exhibited towards the missionaries or their 
doings. The very contrary is the fact. On this sub- 
ject the editor of the Calcutta Christian Intelligencer, 
a clergyman of the Church of England, has been en- 
abled to bear emphatic testimony. 'If any European,' 
says he, ' is respected and trusted by the natives at 


present, it is the missionary. All the influence of 
public officers and their agents at Benares could not 
succeed in procuring supplies for the troops and others 
from the country round ; but a missionary well known 
to the people is now going round the villages and 
getting in supplies for the public service. The mis- 
sionaries and their families are living, at that and 
some other stations, at some distance from the other 
residents and from the means of defence, and are sur- 
rounded by the people on every side. How remarkable 
is this state of things ! The Government, who have 
always fondled and favoured superstition and idolatry, 
are accused of an underhand design to cheat the peo- 
ple into Christianity ; and the missionaries, who have 
always openly and boldly, but still kindly and affec- 
tionately, denounced all idolatrous abominations, and 
invited their deluded votaries to embrace the gospel of 
Christ for their salvation — they are understood by the 
people; and, if any Europeans are trusted, the mis- 
sionaries are at present.' " 

One of Dr. Duff's inquirers of 1830-1834 was Duk- 
shina Runjnn Mookerjea, a Koolin Brahman who edited 
the Bengalee newspaper Oyananeshun, or " Inquirer," 
which was of such service to the good cause. He had 
not joined the Christian Church, but had always dis- 
tinguished himself by promoting reforms among his 
countrymen, notably that of female education, in which 
he was the Honourable Drinkwater Bethune's friend. 
When the time came to reward actively loyal natives, 
Dr. Duff submitted his claims to Lord Canning. The 
result of his services in the Mutiny was that the 
Bengalee Baboo found himself a Raja, and Talookdar 
of Oudh, having a confiscated estate conferred on him. 
When in Lucknow he did much to found the Canning 
College, on the educational basis of the familiar General 
Assembly's Institution. There he enjoyed the fre- 

vol. 11. \ A 

354 LI * 1E OF DR. DUFF. 1858. 

quenfc counsels of Dr. Duff, as to his duties as the 
feudal lord of thousands of ignorant tenants. And 
there his earliest act was to create a model village 
bearing for ever the name of his honoured counsellor 
and benefactor, the Christian missionary, who thus 
acknowledged the beautifully oriental compliment : 
" A village reclaimed from the jungle of a rebel is 
a singularly happy type of the building of living 
souls, whom I would fain reclaim from the jungle 
of ignorance and error. And if through your gen- 
erous impulse the village of Duffpore is destined to 
become a reality, how would my heart swell with grati- 
tude to God of heaven, were I privileged to see with 
my own eyes its instructed, happy and prosperous 




Some Fruits of Duff's Earlier Labours. — Administrative Progress. 
— Growth of the Bengal Mission. — Siudia, Dinkur Rao and 
Major S. C. Macpherson. — Native Female Education. — Dr. T. 
Smith, Rev. J. Fordyce, and Mrs. Mullens. — Zanana Instruc- 
tion. — Duff's Caste Girls' Day School. — Death of Lacroix. — 
Missionary Methods and Christian Unity. — Deaths of Dr. Ewart 
and Gopeenath Nundi. — Revival Meetings and Ardent Longings. 
— Conference in Edinburgh on Free Church Missions. — Mr. 
Bhattacharjya and the Mahanad Rural Mission. — A Competi- 
tion-Walla's Picture of Duff's Spiritual Work. — The Condition 
of the Peasantry of Bengal. — Fluctuating Tenure, Rising Land- 
Tax and Rack-Renting. — The Indigo Riots in Nuddea. — Dr. 
Duff's Letter to the Commission of Inquiry. — Rev. J. Long and 
the " Neel Durpun." — The Educational Destitution of Bengal. — 
Mr. Drinkwater Bethune and the Bethune Society. — The Mis- 
sionary-President and his Work. — A Founder of the Univer- 
sity of Calcutta. — Departure from the Principles of the Charter 
of Education since Duff's time. — Trevelyan's Proposal that he be 
Vice-Chancellor. — Repeated Illness ends in Dysentery again. — 
Voyage to China. — Shut up to accept the General Assembly's 
Invitation to become Foreign Missions Superintendent. — All 
Classes and Creeds uuite to Honour the departing Missionary. — 
Reply to the Educated Hindoos and Muhammadans of Bengal. — 
Estimates of his Indian Career. — Sir Henry S. Maine and Bishop 

In the eight years ending 1863, which formed the 
third and last of Dr. Duff's periods of personal 
service in India, he enjoyed a foretaste, at least, of 
that which is generally denied to the pioneers of phil- 
anthropy in its highest forms. " One soweth and 
another reapeth," is the law of the divine kingdom. 
The five years from 1830 to 1835 had been a time 

356 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1858. 

emphatically of sowing the seeds of a new system, 
but that had borne early and yet ripe fruit in the first 
four converts. The eleven years which closed in 1850 
had been a time of laying the foundation of a second 
organization and of consolidating the infant Church. 
But, thereafter, educated and representative converts, 
Hindoo and also Muhammad an, flowed into it. One 
year saw so many as twenty, while catechumens became 
catechists, these were licensed as preachers, and these 
ordained as missionaries, themselves privileged to at- 
tract and baptize converts from among all castes and 
classes of their countrymen. At one time Dr. Duff 
found himself alone in the Bengal Mission, with his 
earlier converts become his colleagues and only Mr. Fyfe 
at his side. At another he rejoiced in reinforcements 
of young missionaries from Scotland. All around he 
saw the indirect results of his whole work since 1830, 
in native opinion, British administration, and Anglo- 
Iudian society, the progress of which, having reached 
an almost brilliant position under Lord Dalhousie, was 
not only not checked, but received a new impetus in the 
Mutiny under Lord Canning. He saw the beneficial 
results of the Charter of 1853, he delighted in the 
perhaps too radical and rapid changes introduced by 
the Crown in 1858. For no one then realized that 
every reform in India, and even every material im- 
provement to be carried out by the Public Works 
Department means money at last, increased taxation of 
the poor, diminished power on the part of the people 
to withstand natural calamities, increasing debt and the 
risk of dangerous political discontent. Up to 1863, 
at least, not only was nothing of this apparent, in spite 
of the cost of trampling out the Mutiny, but the 
opposite seemed likely to be the case. For Lord 
Canning, led by Colonel Baird Smith's report on 
the famine of 1860-61, had given a political bottom to 


financial reorganization, in his adoption of the prin- 
ciple of fixity in the land-tax and permanence of tenure, 
as sanctioned by the Crown under Lord Halifax and 
the Duke of Argyll subsequently, but rashly upset by 
their successors. And Mr. James Wilson, followed by 
Mr. S. Laing, had established the corresponding prin- 
ciple of direct taxation of the trading, manufacturing, 
capitalist, and official classes, at once as the comple- 
ment of such fixity and the corrective of the unequal 
incidence of the public burdens on the land and its 
poor cultivators. This too was departed from, after 
1863, by their doctrinaire successors, with conse- 
quences which every year shows to be more alarming 
and incurable save by a return to the Canning- Wilson 

Dr. Duff's Bengal Mission went on growing. It 
had never been so prosperous, spiritually and educa- 
tionally, as in the Mutiny year. Then it entered on 
the new college buildings in Neemtolla Street, for 
which he had raised £15,000 in Scotland, England and 
the United States. The first visitor was Sindia, the 
Maharaja of Gwalior, descendant of the Maratha who 
fought Arthur Wellesley at Assye. At that time the 
chief was only twenty-seven years of age, but he had 
given promise of the same vigour of character as well 
as loyalty to the paramount power, which were to save 
him in the Mutiny and advance him to ever greater 
honour under almost every Viceroy to the present 
day. He was especially fortunate in the guidance, 
as political agent, of Major S. Charters Macpherson, 
and, as prime minister, of the Raja Dinkur Eao. The 
former was well-known to Dr. Duff, who had written 
at length, in the Calcutta Review, on his remarkable 
success in suppressing human sacrifices among the 
indigenous tribes of Orissa. The latter was after- 
wards selected by Lord Canning himself as the native 

35$ LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1858. 

statesman most competent to sit in the imperial legis- 
lature in Calcutta, and his memorandum on the govern- 
ment of Asiatics is still of curious authority. The 
two " politicals," the Scottish son of the manse and 
the Maratha Brahman, had combined to make the 
Maharaja a sovereign wise for the good of the people 
and of himself. His Highness had come to Calcutta 
to be further influenced by the Governor- General. He 
inspected Dr. Duffs college and school, from the lowest 
to the highest class, as models to be reproduced in 

" The number of boys — about twelve hundred — 
appeared greatly to surprise him ; and he was still 
more surprised when informed that they all came to 
us voluntarily, and that, with very few exceptions, 
we did not know their parents or guardians. They 
came spontaneously, and received freely at our hands 
combined instruction in literature, science and the 
Christian religion. And when he realized the fact that 
ours was not a Government institution, but one sup- 
ported wholly by private Christian benevolence, he 
seemed lost in wonder. One inference which his wise 
Dewan very adroitly drew was this, — that if private 
beneficence could erect such an edifice, and sustain its 
living educational machinery, it would never do for the 
Maharaja of Gwalior to aim at the ultimate realiza- 
tion of anything inferior in the capital of his dominions. 
That the impressions produced on the whole party 
were not transient merely, will appear from this note 
which reached me from Major Macpherson: 'The 
Dewan (prime minister) is exceedingly anxious to 
have an interview with you, to consult you about his 
measures of education. You cannot think how highly 
delighted His Highness's ministers, and all the rest 
are with your Institution. Nothing could exceed their 
admiration; and the Dewan thinks it the great work of 


Calcutta. He would go to you at any hour and any 
place.' This morning the Dewan called at my house, and 
is to come again on Monday. The enlightened intelli- 
gence of this man is truly surprising. His measures of 
education for the Gwalior state will doubtless, according 
to our estimate, be defective in some vital points. But 
they will be instrumental in awakening multitudes, 
in a certain way, from the sleep and slumber of ages ; 
and, under a gracious Providence, may be overruled as 
preparing the way for more decidedly evangelizing 
measures hereafter. A visit like that now intimated 
seems also to prove how important it is to maintain an 
Institution such as ours, in the metropolis of India, in 
a state of efficiency, and of a scale of magnitude fitted 
to attract strangers to it. The sight of it in active 
operation has heretofore stimulated not a few to go 
away resolved to attempt something of the kind in 
their own neighbourhoods. To others it has suggested 
improvements in the routine of existing seminaries. 
And now it bids fair to exert an important influence 
on the education of myriads in Central India. It is a 
city set on a hill ; and any abatement in its efficiency 
would be regarded not merely as a loss to the many 
hundreds taught in it, but as, in some sort, a national 

Thus was reproduced on a larger scale the experience 
of a quarter of a century before. Then Bengal zemin- 
dars, other missionaries, and the Government of India 
itself, had copied the model. Now it was studied by 
tributary sovereigns for reproduction in distant native 
states. But, up to this year, no Christian mission has 
been established in Gwalior, though the way has ever 
since been open. Under the less tolerant Maharaja 
Holkar, the other Maratha capital of Indore has for 
some time been evangelized ; while in Jeypore and 
other Rajpoot states the United Presbyterian Church 


60 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1858. 

of Scotland lias proclaimed the glad tidings ever since 
the Mutiny and massacres pricked the national con- 

In the instruction and Christian education of Hin- 
doo ladies this period witnessed a movement which is 
working a silent revolution in native society. We have 
seen the wisdom with which, for Calcutta and Bengal 
at least, Dr. Duff had determined to confine himself, 
at the outset of his career, to the education of boys 
and young men, not only for their own sake, but at 
once to create a demand for instruction in, and to ob- 
tain an entrance into, the jealously guarded zanana, or 
female apartments. Up to 1854 nothing had been 
done in this direction which had not failed as prema- 
ture. Poor girls under the marriageable age of puberty 
at ten or eleven, had been attracted to day-schools. 
There aged pundits taught elementary Bengalee to a 
few dozen children, conducted to and from the place 
by old widows, and paid a farthing each for daily at- 
tendance. This was all that was possible in the con- 
dition of Hindoo society at that time ; and the Chris- 
tian ladies are to be honoured who toiled on amid such 
discouragements. Even 1850 was the day of small 
things in girls' as 1830 had been in boys' education in 
Bengal. But the fathers of 1850 had been the boys of 
1830, and the time was ripe for advance. When still 
a youthful colleague of Dr. Duff, in 1840, Dr. Thomas 
Smith had published an article urging an attempt to 
send Christian ladies into the zananas. In 1854 the 
attempt succeeded. The Rev. John Fordyce, whom, 
with his wife, Dr. Duff had with true foresight sent 
out to the Bengalee orphanage, grasped the oppor- 
tunity. Aided by Dr. T. Smith, he established the 
Zanana Mission, which the genius of Lacroix's daugh- 
ter, Mrs. Mullens, so developed, and Government has 
so encouraged, that it has become the most effectual 


means for educating the women of India. Mr. For- 
dyce secured the promise of two or three Hindoo gen- 
tlemen to open their houses to, and to pay for, the 
instructions of his ablest teacher, a European gover- 
ness who knew Bengalee perfectly. All that was 
wanted was a modest carriage, a vernacular primer, 
and the Bengalee Bible. In the quarter of a century 
since that day, zanana instruction has become a part 
of the work of almost every mission station, and 
Government has appointed lady inspectors to test the 
results for grants-in-aid. Many a despised widow, 
yet never a wife, seeking peace at distant idol shrines 
has thus found Him Who is our Peace. Not a few 
wives have thus come to Christ with their husbands, 
or have brought their husbands with them. Even the 
aged head of the household, the grandmother or great- 
grandmother, next to the Brahman the stronghold of 
India's superstition, may be seen sitting at the feet of 
Jesus with the little children. The process is slow; 
but, as it co-operates with that begun in 1830, and 
propagates itself, fed ever more largely by the love 
and the truth of English and American ladies, it will 
change the family life and all society. Is it not thus 
that nations are born ? 

But zanana instruction is only half the machinery. 
It supplies a training as expensive and necessarily 
partial as education by governesses alone in English 
homes. As nothing can satisfactorily take the place 
of family influence on the whole character of the 
young, so there is no good substitute for the well- 
conducted school in their daily education. Mr. Drink- 
water Bethune had prematurely built his school for 
high-caste girls, who were conveyed to and from the 
place in covered carriages, and were there carefully 
submitted to zanana precautions, those against Chris- 
tianity included. Even under Christian ladies, and 

2,62 LIFE OP DR. DDFF. 1858. 

when personally supported by Lord Dalhousie, the 
school has dragged on a sickly existence, because this 
sort of neutrality is fatal to life of any kind. By 1857 
Dr. Duff saw that some of the families of his old and 
present students were ready to send their ladies to a 
clay-school where Christianity should no more be the 
only form of truth " tabooed " than it was in the col- 
lege. One Brahman, whose house adjoined the college, 
was found courageous enough to supply the rooms for 
the school. Mr. Fordyce's zanana governess, having 
successfully established that system, now took charge 
of this new experiment, along with a venerable but 
efficient pundit. Carriages were supplied for the girls 
at a distance, as the popularity of the school filled its 
benches, but fees were paid. Under the widow of one 
of the native missionaries, Dr. Duff's female school has 
gone on prospering. Five years ago we witnessed, in 
all India, no more suggestive sight than that school 
presented in its daily routine. Its founder's account 
of the first year's experiment was this : 

" Calcutta, T7fh May, 1858. 
" JS{y Dear Dr. Tweedie, — It is now a twelvemonth since, 
amid endless uncertainties, I was led to commence the experi- 
ment of a native female day-school from among the better 
castes and classes of native society. Beginning with a mere 
handful, the number gradually increased in spite of much open 
and secret iusidious opposition. Miss Toogood has been indefa- 
tigable in her exertions ; and so has the learned pundit, who is 
one of the masters in our Institution. Other native gentlemen 
have, in many ways, quietly lent their aid and valuable encour- 
agement. The girls have been remarkably steady in their 
attendance, through the varied good influences brought to bear 
upon them. The intelligence which many of them exhibit, as 
well as capacity for learning, must be regarded as remarkable. 
Their liveliness and docility make it a perfect pleasure to be 
engaged in instructing them. I have made a rule of visiting 
them almost regularly once a day on my way home from our 


Institution, so that, in my own mind, I have a perfect map of 
the progress of the whole of them in their varied studies from 
the beginning. 

u At the end of our first year it was thought desirable to 
hold a public examination, to which a select number of native 
gentlemen, as well as European gentlemen and ladies might be 
invited. When this intention became known, the youthful 
heirs of the late millionnaire, Ashutosh De — a name univer- 
sally known in European and native society — sent to inform me 
that they and the female members of their family would be 
delighted if we held the intended examination in their house, 
one of the largest and most striking edifices in the native city. 
I thought this too good an offer to hesitate for a moment in 
accepting it. Other native gentlemen also testified their ap- 
probation, not in words only, but by more substantial signs. 
A Koolin Brahman, who had from the first sent his graud- 
daughter to the school, came to me with seventy-two rupees, 
suggesting that, as a means of raising the moral tone of native 
female society, a few scholarships, varying from one to two 
rupees a month, might be awarded to the best of the senior 
pupils, and thus encourage the girls themselves, as well as 
their parents, to prolong their attendance ; while the small 
sum thus bestowed would no longer be regarded as of an elee- 
mosynary description, and therefore degrading to the feelings, 
but as the properly earned reward of superior diligence, atten- 
tion and merit. I thought the idea a good one, and resolved 
to appropriate the donation to a new experiment in this untried 
direction. With the same object in view another native gentle- 
man from the North- West, who lately called on me, a nephew 
of the great government contractor Lalla Persad, sent me 
seventy-five rupees. Another native gentleman sent a nice 
clock for the benefit of the school, when it re-opened. The 
native ladies of the family of Ashutosh De sent two handsome 
silver medals. Several other native parties sent ten rupees 
and five rupees, for prizes or presents, expressive of approba- 
tion. All of this was indicative of an interest in the very 
quarter whence it was most desirable that iuterest should be 
awakened, so that I felt more than rewarded for all the trials 
and troubles of the past — thanked God and took courage. 

"Here, at eleven, there were actually assembled of the native 
girls the following: — 1st class, 7; 2nd class, 11; 3rd class, 

364 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1859. 

15; 4th class, 12; 5th class, 17, — in all, 62; and this for 
many months past has been the average daily attendance. As 
the whole examination was in Bengalee, I need say no more 
than that all the native gentlemen present, who understood it, 
expressed themselves more than satisfied. Indeed, that within 
a twelvemonth, the elder girls who have been there all along, 
should have made such marked progress, can only be attributed 
to their own natural quickness, and the excellence of the 
tuition under Miss Toogood and the pundit. Their sewing is 
very neat ; with the elements of arithmetic, the general map 
of the world and of India, they are already familiar ; while 
many things connected with remarkable places are told to them 
orally. They read very distinctly, and write their own lan- 
guage with great accuracy in the formation of the letters and 
in spelling. For months past they have been reading Genesis 
with explanations by Miss Toogood, who orally conveys to 
them religious knowledge suited to their capacity. Whatever, 
therefore, may be the fate of the school in future, it has as- 
suredly started more auspiciously than the most sanguine 
would have anticipated. The first remark to me to-day of the 
junior magistrate of Calcutta — the first native gentleman who 
ever attained to that high office, a very liberal and enlight- 
ened Hindoo — was, ' Well, when you came to India, such a 
spectacle as this was an impossibility/ The saying is true. 
That it has become a possibility now, is surely a proof how 
true it is that some progress has been made." 

The year 1859-60 was a time of trial for the Mission 
staff. " Know ye not that there is a prince and a 
great man fallen this day in Israel ? " were the words 
from which Dr. Duff, on the 24th July, 1859, preached 
a discourse on the life and the death of the great- 
hearted Swiss missionary Lacroix. The acquaintance 
begun on the first night of Duff's arrival in Calcutta, 
the 27th May, 1830, had ripened into what the sermon 
described as "a close and endearing friendship, severed 
only by death. " The two men, both Presbyterians 
though of different churches and missionary methods, 
had much in common. Both were highlanders. 


" Young Lacroix was unconsciously trained on the 
mountains of Switzerland to become one of the most 
effective of missionaries on the plains of Bengal. How 
did that iron frame, the product of mountain nurture, 
fit him to endure the fatigues and rough exposure of 
constant itineracies in this exhausting tropical atmo- 
sphere ! How did the endlessly varied and striking 
imagery with which his mind was so amply stored 
amid Alpine scenery, fit him for conveying Divine 
truth under the apposite and impressive forms of 
figure, trope, and graphic picturing, to the metaphor- 
loving people of these orient climes ! How did the 
enthusiastic love of civil and religious liberty, infused 
by the heart-thrilling tales of his country's double 
thraldom and double deliverance, fit him to sympathise 
with the millions of our practically enslaved rural 
population — groaning, as they have been for ages, and 
still are, under the ghostly domination of a Brahman- 
ical priesthood, the galling exactions of lordly zemin- 
dars, and the unendurable tyrannies of the myrmidons 
of ill-administered law and justice. " 

To that passage Dr. Duff appended this note in the 
published sermon : 

" As a native of the Scottish Grampians and a de- 
voted admirer of the heroic struggles of Wallace and 
Bruce, Knox and Melville, in achieving the civil and 
religious liberties of Scotland, he felt himself possessed 
of a key to the interpretation of much in the character 
of his lamented friend that appeared singular or unin- 
telligible to others. Indeed, in congenial themes such 
as those above alluded to, both were led to discover a 
mutual chord of sympathy that vibrated responsively 
in each other's breast, and served to knit them more 
closely together in the bonds of a sacred brotherhood." 

In another note the apostle of the teaching thus 
wrote of the apostle of the purely preaching method 

366 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1859. 

of Christian Missions : " Though he laboured far 
more and far longer than any other man in the direct 
preaching of the gospel to myriads in their own ver- 
nacular tongue, and though no foreigner, in this part 
of India, ever equalled him in his power of arresting 
and commanding the attention of a Bengalee-speaking 
audience, yet the success vouchsafed to his faithful, 
acceptable and untiring labours in the way of the 
conversion of souls to God, for which he intensely 
longed and prayed, was comparatively very small ! 
But notwithstanding this comparative want of success, 
over which at times he mourned, he never once lost 
heart. On the contrary, with unabated cheerfulness 
and elasticity of spirit, he perseveringly continued to 
labour on to the very end, in the assured confidence 
that not one of the ' exceeding great and precious 
promises * would fail; and that, sooner or later, India, 
yea, and all the world, would be the Lord's. He con- 
stantly delighted in saying, that the Christian's busi- 
ness was to labour, and labour on — to plant and water, 
and water and plant, without wearying and without 
fainting — leaving all results to God ! From love to 
Christ, and in obedience to His command, he intensely 
felt it was his duty to work, and work on, in faith, 
whether privileged to witness any success or not. 
The work of sowing was his; the blessing of 'increase' 
was God's. And thus, with the exception of two 
years' absence in Europe, did he labour on for thirty- 
eight years, seeing little fruit of his labours, and yet 
labouring to the very end as cheerfully and ener- 
getically as if he were reaping a glorious harvest. ' It 
will come, it will come, after I am dead and gone,' 
was his prevailing thought, ' for the good Lord hath 
said it ; and it is not for me to scan His ways, or 
to know the times and the seasons which He hath 
appointed.' Thus, like the ancient patriarchs, did he 


live, and labour, and die in faith, not having received 
the fulfilment of the promises, but assured that the 
fulfilment would come, when they that have sown in 
tears and they that reap in joy shall both exult over 
the product of their united labours, safely gathered 
into the garner of immortality." 

In his daughter Mrs. Mullens, and his son-in-law 
Dr. Mullens, now a missionary martyr in Central 
Africa, Lacroix gave to the Church successors of his 
own spirit. Duff's funeral eloge is redolent of the 
spirit of David's over Jonathan. 

Death did not stop there. In a few months, and 
in one afternoon, fell cholera carried off Dr. Ewart, 
emphatically " a pillar " of the Mission and Duff's 
student friend. And when, in March 1861, he was 
rejoicing over the induction of the Rev. Lai Behari 
Day, called by the Bengalee congregation to be their 
minister, there passed away to the confessor's reward 
the spirit of the Rev. Gopeenath JSTundi at Futtehpore. 

" Little did I dream when parting with him then, 
that it was the last time I was to gaze on that mild 
but earnest countenance ! Little did I dream when 
we knelt down together, hand-in-hand, in my study, 
to commend each other to the Father of spirits, it was 
the last time we should meet till we hail each other 
before the throne on high, as redeemed by the blood 
of the Lamb ! But so it has proved ! I mourn over 
him as I would over an only son, till, at times, my 
eyes are sore with weeping. It is not the sorrow of 
repining at the dispensation of a gracious God and 
loving Father ! Oh no ; but the outburst and overflow 
of affectionate grief for one whom I loved as my own 
soul. But he has gone to his rest ; ay, and to his 
glorious reward ! His works do follow him. There 
are spiritual children in Northern India, not a few, to 
mourn over his loss. The American Presbyterian 

368 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1861. 

Mission, which, lie so faithfully served, will sorely feel 
his loss. Oh, when shall we have scores and hundreds 
clothed with his mantle and imbued with his spirit ? 
Will any of our young ministers, animated by like 
faith and hope, at once come out and fill up the gap — • 
or, if they will not, will they at least pray that native 
men may be raised up here in greater numbers, both 
able and willing to mount the breach ? Some day 
the Lord will take the work into His own hands, and 
then rebuke the laggard zeal of those who will not 
come forward now to His help against the mighty. 
' This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fast- 
ing.' What a volume of significancy have we in these 
words ! Long have all churches and societies laboured 
by all manner of imaginable plans, methods, and 
enginery to drive out the monster demon of Hin- 
dooism; and hitherto but with very partial success. 
Perhaps it may be to teach us all, that ' this kind will 
not go out but by prayer and fasting,' by real self- 
emptying, self-denial, and humiliation before God, ac- 
companied by fervent, importunate, persevering prayer. 
Instead, therefore, of acting any longer as ingenious 
schemers of new plans, or as critics, judges, and fault- 
finders with old ones ; were all of us, at home and 
abroad, to betake ourselves more to self-humiliation 
and prayer, perhaps even ' this kind ' of demoniacal 
possession would soon be seen * going out ' from the 
souls of myriads, to the praise and glory of Jehovah's 
omnipotent grace." 

Mr. Pourie had transferred his fine missionary spirit 
to the Free Church congregation, which he was too 
soon to leave to find in Sydney a grave instead of the 
health he vainly sought. Dr. Mackay, long an in- 
valid, was compelled at last to leave the work he 
loved, and died in Edinburgh. In time the Mission 
was reinforced by younger men. But all this added 


to the burden laid on Dr. Duff, himself fast aging from 
thirty years' toil. Every rainy season laid him low, 
to recover only temporarily during the brief vacation 
of the cold weather. And there came upon him the 
questioning of a new generation of ministers in his 
own Church, as to the nature and the wisdom of the 
missionary method which Dr. Inglis had suggested in 
1824, he himself had established in 1830 and worked 
with such immediate spiritual results ever since, 
Dr. Chalmers had approved and eulogized time after 
time, and the other evangelical churches had carefully 
followed after first ignorantly opposing it. Such 
questioning called forth the closing passage of his 
letter on Gopeenath's death, and these ardent longings, 
at a time when he had begun, with other evangelical 
Christians in Calcutta, a series of revival meetings such 
as had turned many to righteousness in America and 
Ireland just before. 

" My own firm persuasion is, that whether we, the 
weary, toiling pioneers, ploughers, and sowers shall be 
privileged to reap or not, the reaping of a great har- 
vest will yet be realized. Perhaps when the bones of 
those who are now sowing in tears shall be rotting in 
the dust, something like justice may be done to their 
principles and motives, their faith and perseverance, 
by those who shall then be reaping with joy, and 
gathering in the great world-harvest of redeemed 
souls. In the face of myriads daily perishing, and in 
the face of myriads instantaneously saved under the 
mighty outpourings of the Spirit of grace, I feel no 
disposition to enter into argument, discussion, or con- 
troversy with any one. Still my impulses and tenden- 
cies are to labour on amid sunshine and storm, to leave 
all to God, to pray without ceasing that the Spirit may 
be poured out on Scotland, England, India, and all 
lands, in the full assurance that such outpourings 

VOL. II. b B 

370 LIFE OP DB. DUFF. 1861 

would soon settle all controversies, put an end to all 
theorisings about modes and methods and other im- 
material details, and give us all so much to do with 
alarmed, convicted, and converted souls, as to leave no 
head, no heart, no spirit, no life for anything else. 
Yes; I do devoutly declare that a great, widespread, 
universal revival would be the instantaneous and all- 
satisfying solution of all our difficulties, at home and 
abroad ! Oh, then, for such a revival ! How long, 
Lord, how long ? When wilt Thou rend Thy heavens 
and come down ? When will the stream descend ? 
These, and such like, are our daily aspirations. We 
are like the hart, thirsting, panting, braying for the 
water-brooks. We feel intensely that it is not argu- 
ment, or discussion, or controversy that will ever win 
or convert a single soul to God ; that it is the Spirit's 
grace which alone can effectuate this ; and it is in 
answer to believing, persevering, importunate prayer, 
that the Spirit usually descends with His awakening, 
convicting and converting influences. Our weapon, 
therefore, is more than ever the Word of God, and 
the arm that wields it, prayer. Surrounded as we are 
by the bristling fences and the frowning bulwarks of 
a three thousand years' old heathenism, we crave the 
sympathies and the prayers of our brethren in more 
highly favoured lands. Painfully familiar as we are 
with the 'hope deferred' which maketh the 'heartsick,' 
we often feel faint, very faint ; yet, through God's 
grace, however faint, we have ever found ourselves 
still c pursuing,' still holding on, with our face reso- 
lutely towards the enemy, whether confronting us in 
open battle, or merely evading the sharp edge of the 
sword of the Spirit by timely flight. Our motto has 
ever been, ' Onward ! onward ! ' no matter what might 
be the Eed Sea of difficulties ahead of us. But, oh, 
as men — men of like feelings and infirmities as others 


— it would tend to cheer and hearten us did we find 
ourselves encompassed with the sympathies and the 
prayers of brethren at a distance. Not that God has 
ever left us without some witness or manifestation of 
His favour. We have had our own share of spiritual 
success ; a goodly number of souls, from first to last, 
have been converted to God. For this we feel deeply 
grateful. But we long for thousands, yea, tens of 
thousands, and hundreds of thousands, and millions ! 
Will the Church at home, if wearied of giving its 
moneys, assist us by a united, mighty host and 
army of prayers ? " 

His own Church held a conference of two days 
on the whole history and methods of its missions, in 
November, 1861. Their founders, Duff: and Wilson, 
were absent, but the former sent home to Dr. Cand- 
lish, who presided, sixty printed octavo pages of what 
he termed " rough notes. " These were meant to do 
what in 1835 he had accomplished by the living voice. 
The discussion resulted in only good. It dispelled 
ignorance, quickened the zeal of the Church, and called 
forth volunteers for the mission field. And it greatly 
helped Dr. Duff in a new extension of his rural mis- 
sion among the swarming peasantry of the county of 
Hooghly. From Mahanad as a centre, under the Rev. 
J. Bhattacharjya, he mapped out the district into circle 
schools where, with the assistance of the Vernacular 
Education Society afterwards, Bengalee preaching 
and teaching went hand in hand. There, ever since, 
that Brahman missionary has lived as the pastor of 
many native Christians, as the superintendent and in- 
spector of schools, as the adviser of the local author- 
ities in public questions affecting the peasantry so 
that Lord Northbrook selected him to give evidence 
on the subject before Parliament, as the referee of the 
magistrate in questions of taxation and education, and 

37 2 MM! OP DR. DUFF. 1862, 

as the guide, philosopher, and friend of his Hindoo 

We cannot better part from Dr. Duffs purely 
missionary work at this time than by looking at 
this picture of it, drawn by a competition- walla in all 
the frankness of a home letter. Dr. Duff had just 
returned from a long inspection of the remarkable 
results of the Lutheran Mission to the aboriginal Kols, 
on the uplands of Chota Nagpore. 

"Calcutta, 16*7* Feb., 1862. 

"Last Sunday was the communion in Mr. Pourie's church. 
I drove down with Aitchison (now Chief Commissioner of 
British Burma, then in the Foreign Office) and as we entered 
he was called into the vestry. What they wanted with him 
was soon apparent, for the Raja of Kuppurtulla, preceded by 
Dr. Duff, walked up the aisle in full oriental costuni3. That 
was a stirring sight, and has, as yet, had few parallels. He 
listened most attentively to the sermon. When I called 
yesterday he was full of it. The Raja had expressed himself 
much interested in the sermon, ' especially/ said he, ' in that 
part of it where the clergyman showed how it is that Christ's 
death is efficacious/ Kuppurtulla is a Sikh Raja of some con- 
sideration, who has his head-quarters at the town from which 
he takes his title, in Colonel Lake's commissionership. He is 
almost a Christian, and but for strong political reasons would 
probably come forward for baptism. From his estates in the 
Punjab and Oudh he has a revenue of £50,000. He has 
proved himself a firm friend of the American Missions. He 
entirely supports one missionary, and has written for another. 
In Kuppurtulla he has built a school, a church, and mission 

" On Wednesday night Dr. Duff, who has lately returned 
from a two months' tour in Chota Nagpore, gave an account 
of a visit to that province. . . The Kols are by no 
means so rude and barbarous a race as they have often been 
represented to be. They are a mild and intelligent people, 
but addicted to demon-worship. The accounts we have been 
getting at home of the spread of religion among that people 


have been enormously exaggerated. Dr. Duff inveighed 
against such misrepresentations, as calculated to dishearten 
people here and at home when the real state of the case is 
known. But he showed what a good work it was, deep-laid 
and progressive. He travelled over the district with the 
Commissioner (Colonel Dalton), who is a sincere friend to 
the cause. Very striking and affecting it was to hear him 
contrast the spread of Christianity there with what it has 
taken thirty years of labour to effect among the caste-bound 
races of Bengal, and then to listen to the triumphant anticipa- 
tion of the fall of Brahmanism. . . I have seldom felt 
such a profound respect and admiration for a man as I did for 
that veteran missionary, as he spoke to me with the tear in 
his eye of the cause to which he has given his life, at what cost 
his attenuated and enfeebled frame too well shows. 

" On the morning of Saturday Dr. Duff took us to his 
college. As he drove in at the gates of the handsome edifice 
the thousand scholars were fast gathering, and we were loudly 
saluted by cries of ' Good morning, sir.' . . The upper, 
or English division, is opened by a prayer from Dr. Duff. He 
stood in the verandah, or gallery, from which open off the 
various classrooms. He prayed, amid the deepest silence and 
apparent reverence, for the overthrow of idolatrous superstition 
and the spread of the knowledge of the true God in India. . . 
The highest classes, where the students averaged in age at 
least twenty-one, were engaged in reading Abercrombie's 
■ Moral Powers/ and underwent an examination in the text and 
cognate matters that testified unmistakably to their aptitude 
for philosophical acquirements. Dr. Duff has an admirable 
way of speaking to the lads. In every class we entered he 
took up the subject in hand in an easy and familiar way. 
With great tact he took the opportunity of illustrating by it 
some great practical, scientific, or moral truth, in a style that 
delighted the students, even when it led them to laugh at the 
religious prejudices in which they had been brought up." 

In these later years the successive presidents at the 
annual examination of the college were Sir Bartle 
Frere, when in Lord Canning's Council ; Sir Henry 
Durand, and Lord Napier. Lady Elgin inspected the 

374 LIFE or DR. DUFF. 1859. 

classes, but Lord Lawrence was the first Governor- 
General, soon after that, to make a state visit such 
as his predecessors had confined to the secular Govern- 
ment colleges. 

In the many questions of administration which the 
events of 1857-9 forced upon the Government and the 
country Dr. Duff took a keen interest. But, as a 
missionary, he was called upon to express his views 
publicly only when the good of the whole people was 
at stake. Two social and economic difficulties in 
Bengal demanded the interference of Lord Canning's 
later government — the rack-renting of the peasantry 
by their own zemindars, and the use of their feudal 
powers by English landlords or lessees to secure the 
profitable cultivation of the indigo plant. None knew 
the oppression of the uneducated millions so well as 
the missionaries in the interior, who lived among and 
for the people, spoke their language and sought their 
highest good. Again and again the united Missionary 
Conference had petitioned the Governor-General for 
inquiry, and the result was the Charter granted by 
Parliament in 1853. But nothing came of that, at 
first, for the people, and again the Conference asked 
for a commission of inquiry, with the result thus 
described by Dr. Duff* : " All being then apparently 
smooth and calm on the surface to the distant official 
eye, the necessity for inquiry was almost contemp- 
tuously scouted." But, as soon as the crisis of the 
Mutiny would allow, Lord Canning's legislature passed 
the famous Act X. of 1859 to regulate the relations of 
landlord and tenant. Competition then invaded pre- 
scription, but the Act was as fair an attempt to pre- 
serve tenant-right while securing to the landlord the 
benefit of prices and improvements, as Mr. Gladstone's, 
which was influenced by it, was in Ireland long after. 
That was the first of a succession of measures, down to 


the last year of Lord Lawrence's viceroyalty, passed to 
secure the old cultivators all over India in their bene- 
ficial right of occupancy and improvements, while regu- 
lating the conditions on which their rent could be 
enhanced. Unhappily, outside of the permanent tenure 
districts of Bengal and Oudh, our own thirty years 
leases and land-tax, often raised, tempted the landlord 
to squeeze his tenantry, and both frequently fell into the 
hands of the usurers and the underlings of our courts. 
But in 1859 neither zemindar nor ryot, neither 
Bengalee nor English landlord, knew his rights. 
Early in 1860 the peasantry of the rich county 
of JNTuddea began to refuse to cultivate indigo, and 
to mark their refusal by " riots, plunderings, and 
burnings. " The system was bad, but it was old, it 
was of the East India Company's doing, and its evils 
were as novel to the Government of the day as the 
difficulty of devising a remedy was great. Sir J. P. 
Grant, the second Lieutenant-Governor, was able and 
well-inclined to the people ; but at the other end of 
the official chain and in direct contact with the culti- 
vators, there were young civilian bureaucrats who 
made impossible such kindly compromise and reforms 
as have since preserved a similar industry in Tirhoot. 
In the absence of anything like statesmanship any- 
where, and amid the animosities of the vested interests, 
the whole of Bengal became divided into two parties, 
for and against the indigo-planters. The result was 
the destruction of an industry which was worth a 
million sterling annually to the country. Authorities 
who, like Dr. Duff and the Friend of India, dared to 
seek the good of the people while striving to preserve 
the industry, were scouted, were denounced in the 
daily press, and their very lives were threatened. An 
Act was hastily passed to enforce the peace and appoint- 
ing a commission of inquiry on which the missionaries 

376 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1859. 

and all classes were represented. To that Dr. Duff 
submitted a letter, which was published because of "the 
character and position of the writer," with the acknow- 
ledgment that it dealt (< in a very broad and compre- 
hensive spirit with the subject of popular education as 
the chief remedy for the evils disclosed. " " With the 
bearings of the indigo system in a merely political 
or commercial point of view/' he wrote, " I never felt 
it to be any concern of mine in any way to intermeddle. 
But to its bearings on the moral and social welfare of 
the people, to the task of whose elevation from the 
depths of a debasing ignorance my whole life has been 
consecrated, I have always felt it incumbent to give 
due heed. . . In common with my missionary 
brethren of all churches and denominations, I repudiate 
with all my whole heart and soul anything like ill-will 
to indigo planters or hostility to indigo planting as 
such." The truth is, that the planters were the victims 
who suffered most from the Company's trade system 
and from the failure of the Queen's Government to 
give Bengal the legislative courts and police which it 
needed — till too late. 

A personal case occurred to add new bitterness to 
the conflict which swept away the planters altogether. 
The Kev. James Long, a patriotic Irish agent of the 
Church Missionary Society, who worked for and sym- 
pathised with the people, made special researches into 
their vernacular literature, at the instance of Govern- 
ment. He caused a Bengalee play, termed Reel Dur- 
pun, or the Indigo Mirror, to be translated into Eng- 
lish, and a valuable contribution to our knowledge 
of native opinion it was. But it libelled both planters 
and their wives, as a class. And the translation was 
officially circulated by the Bengal Office, which thus 
became a partisan. Still not one of these offences, 
whether in the original, the translation, or the circu- 


lation, exceeded the extreme violence of the planters in 
the daily newspapers. In an evil moment the planters 
forfeited all the sympathy due to the sufferers by 
other men's misdeeds, by proceeding against Mr. Long 
for libel, not civilly, but by the unusual and persecut- 
ing course of criminal procedure, and that before the 
least judicial of the judges of the old Supreme Court. 
The missionary, whom at other times the planters re- 
joiced in, was sentenced, to the horror of the majority 
of them, to a fine of a hundred pounds — immediately 
paid by a Bengalee — and imprisonment for one month 
at the hottest season of the year. The jail authorities 
did their best to make him comfortable, and he held 
daily levees of the best men and women of Calcutta, 
including planters. Dr. Duff was doubtless one of 
the visitors ; what he felt, for his friend and for the 
cause of righteousness, this letter shows : 

" Saturday. 

"My Dear Mrs. Long, — Accept my best thanks for the 
note from your beloved husband. It was very kind of him to 
remember me, and of you to send me the note so promptly. I 
am glad that he is out of Madras. His stay there could only 
have prolonged excitement; and what he needs above all things 
now is rest, rest, rest, to mind and body. He should go up to 
the hills at once, and all day wander over the breezy heights, 
communing with dumb but grand nature, in her most glorious 
manifestations, — or rather, with the great God whose handi- 
work is so glorious. 

" This mail brings London papers. I am glad to see the 
Daily News, next in influence to The Times itself, take Mr. 
Long's part in the Neel Bur-pun case, and condemn the planters, 
jury and judge. — Yours very sincerely, Alexander Duef." 

The catastrophe of the imprisonment sobered all 
parties, and Dr. Duff's fervid fearlessness only made 
the best of the planters his warm friends. But it re- 
quired nearly ten years of public discussion, even till 

37$ LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1859. 

Sir George Campbell became Lieutenant-Governor, to 
secure that primary education for which Lord William 
Bentinck had appointed Mr. W. Adam in 1835, and 
which Duff and others had never ceased to demand. 
A school cess, even in Bengal, now gives the dumb 
millions who pay it, a chance of knowing their right 
hand from their left. 

When the Christian Vernacular Society for India 
was established, — an agency for giving the East trained 
Christian teachers and a pure literature, for which the 
first Lord Lawrence worked almost to the day of his 
death, — the Bengal Missionary Conference appointed 
Dr. Duff convener of a committee to facilitate its in- 
troduction into Eastern India. He drew up a remark- 
able paper on " The Educational Destitution of Bengal 
and Behar," which the Conference published. Mr. 
Long, who, with Mr. Lacroix just before his death, 
acted with him in the committee, writes to us that 
Dr. Duff's " sympathy with the masses grew with his 
increasing acquaintance with India, and with the de- 
velopment of the vernacular press. At the close of 
our last meeting, I recollect his saying, with great 
emphasis, c though our direct missionary methods are 
different, — one devoted to English education, another 
to vernacular schools, and the third to vernacular 
preaching, — there is not one essential point relating to 
the work of Christian vernacular instruction on which 
we differ.' Dr. Duff subsequently spent three days 
with me at the Thakoorpookur mission of the Church 
of England, and no one could sympathise more strongly 
than he did in the plans I was working out for peasant 
education. We met every month at the Missionary 
Conference, the Tract and the Bible Society's com- 
mittees, in all of which he took a very active part. He 
never encouraged the practice of denationalising native 
Christians in dress, modes of life, or names. He did 


not like to see native gentlemen attired in European 
costume, and, as a consequence of this expensive style, 
demanding, as in the case of some converts, equality of 
salary with Europeans, for he declared that instead 
of equality this would be giving them three times a& 

It was honourable to the Hindoo gentlemen of Cal- 
cutta — a community Dr. Duff had done more than any 
other man to create and to liberalise — that, in 1859, 
they united with the leaders of English society there in 
entreating him to fill the seat of president of the Beth- 
une Society. That institute had been created seven 
years before, on the suggestion of Dr. Mouat, to form 
a common meeting place for the educated natives and 
their English friends, and to break down as far as pos- 
sible the barriers set up by caste, not only between 
Hindoos and all the world beside, but between Hindoos 
and Hindoos. Such had been the social and intellectual 
progress since 1830, that the time had come to develop 
the debating societies of youths into a literary and 
scientific association of the type of those of the West. 
Mr. Bethune had just before passed away, his remains 
followed to the grave by the whole city. His name 
was given to the new society, which was intended to 
express the whole aims of his life. The son of the 
historian of the siege of Gibraltar, and one of the Con- 
galtons of Balfour in Fifeshire, Drinkwater Bethune 
became the fourth wrangler of Airey's year at Cam- 
bridge, gave himself to literature and the law, joined 
Lord Brougham as a leading spirit in the Society for 
the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, made a reputation 
as a Parliamentary counsel, and on going to India as 
Macaulay's successor was appointed president of the 
Council of Education, and there founded the female 
school which still bears his name. 

The new society started on a purely secular basis. 

38O LIFE OP DR. BUFF, 1 859. 

Afraid of truth on all its sides, and timidly jealous of 
that which had made the natives of the West all they 
were, it was about to die of inanition. Dr. Duff, who 
had watched its foundation with interest but was pro- 
hibted from helping it by its narrow basis, was urged 
to come to the rescue. He asked for a detailed explana- 
tion of the rule confining its discussions to any subject 
which may be included within the range of general liter- 
ature and science only. Dr. Chevers, the vice-president, 
obtained from the members the unanimous declaration 
that this did not exclude natural theology, or respectful 
allusions, as circumstances might suggest, to the his- 
toric facts of Christianity, and to the lives and labours 
of those who had been its advocates. Then the mission- 
ary gladly became president and worked a magical 
change. The theatre of the Medical College, where the 
society met every month, proved for the next four 
years to be the centre of attraction to all educated 
Calcutta, of whatever creed or party. The orthodox 
Brahmans were there, taking part in the intellectual 
ferment, through leaders like the Raja Kalee Krishna. 
" Young Bengal " had higher ideals set before it, and 
found a new vent for its seething aspirations. Native 
Christians took their place in the intellectual arena 
beside the countrymen whom they desired to lead into 
the same light and peace which they themselves had 
found. Maharajas, like him of Benares from whose 
ancestor Warren Hastings had narrowly escaped, when 
they visited the metropolis to do homage to the Queen 
in the person of the Viceroy, returned to their own 
capitals to found similar societies. And, besides the 
powerful fascination of the new president's eloquence 
and courtesy, there was the attraction of lectures from 
every Englishman of note in or passing through the city. 
To take only the first session, of 1859-60, Dr. Duff 
opened it with a lecture on the Rise and Progress 


of Native Education. Professor E. B. Co well, now of 
Cambridge, followed in a pregnant paper on the Prin- 
ciples of Historic Evidence, which are conspicuous by 
their absence all through the annals and literature of 
Asia outside of the Hebrew records. Colonel Baird 
Smith expounded the Philosophy of Irrigation, and 
then went to Madras to die ; the loss of this great 
engineer-general, and son-in-law of Do Quincey, calling 
forth from Dr. Duff a burst of feeling. Colonel Yule 
poured out the stores of his quaint learning on Java 
and the Javanese. Mr. Don, the latest colleague of 
the president, wrote on the Methods and Results of 
German Speculation ; Dr. Mullens on the Invasions of 
the Roman Empire and of India; and Miss Mary 
Carpenter on Reformatory Schools. Archdeacon Pratt 
contributed a monograph on Sir Isaac Newton such as 
one of the first mathematical philosophers of that day 
alone could have written. But most valuable of all 
were the lectures, on Socrates, on Cambridge, and such 
subjects, of the head-master of Marlborough, whose 
name, as Bishop Cotton, will ever be associated with 
Heber's as the best and the greatest of Indian prelates. 
Alternating with such lecturers were the Bengalee 
scholars, Dr. K. M. Banerjea and Dr. Rajendralala 
Mittra, and not a few essayists, Muhammadan, Hin- 
doo and Christian. But that the society might not 
beat the air with mere talk, its very practical president 
organized it in six sections, of education, literature and 
philosophy, science and art, sanitation, sociology, and 
native female improvement, under the late Henry 
Woodrow, Professor Co well, Mr. H. S. Smith, Dr. 
Chevers, Mr. Long and Baboo Ramaprasad Roy re- 
spectively. These worked and reported results, duly 
published, with all the enthusiasm, and more than the 
method of the Social Science Congress and such bodies. 
Native society still looks back on the four brilliant 

3 $2 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. i860. 

years of Dr. Duffs presidency. Thus for rich and poor, 
educated and ignorant, Christian and non-Christian, he 
did not cease to sacrifice himself, and always in the 
character of the Christian missionary who, because 
he would sanctify all truth, feared none. 

All this, however, was but the play of his evening 
hours. The absorbing business of his daily life for 
six years, next to but along with his spiritual duties, 
was to secure strictly catholic regulations for the 
University and the grant-in-aid systems which his 
evidence in 1853, following all his life-work, had 
called into existence. He had no sooner returned to 
India after that, than he was nominated by the 
Governor-General to be one of those who drew up 
the constitution of the University, and he was fre- 
quently consulted by the Bengal Government on the 
principles which should regulate grants to non-official 
colleges and schools. So long as he remained in 
Calcutta he secured fair play for the liberal and self- 
developing principles of the education despatch of 
1854. When he and Dr. Wilson ceased to influence 
affairs and rulers, the public instruction of India 
began to fall back into the bureaucratic, anti-moral 
and politically dangerous system, from which Lord 
Halifax thought he had for ever rescued it. In all the 
Presidencies great state departments of secular educa- 
tionists have been formed, which are permanent com- 
pared with the Governments they influence, and are 
powerful from their control of the press. Every year 
recently has seen the design of Parliament and the 
Crown, of both the Whig and the Conservative minis- 
tries, in 1854-60, farther and farther departed from, 
as it is expressed in this key-note of the great des- 
patch : " We confidently expect that the introduction 
of the system of grants-in-aid will very largely 
increase the number of schools of a superior order; 


and we hope that, before long, sufficient provision may- 
be found to exist in many parts of the country for the 
education of the middle and higher classes, inde- 
pendent of the Government institutions, which may- 
then be closed. " The departure of the local govern- 
ments from this healthy principle grieved Dr. Duff 
even in his dying hours, because of all its consequences 
in undiluted secularism, amounting, in the case of 
individual officials in Bengal and Bombay, to the 
propagation of atheism more subtle than that which 
he had overthrown in 1830 ; in political discontent 
and active attacks on the Government, of which more 
than one Viceroy has recently complained ; and in the 
financial mistake which upholds departments too strong 
for control, while killing the only system that cares 
for the masses by making the wealthy pay for their 
own education. For the first six years of the history 
of the University of Calcutta, in all that secured its 
catholicity, and in such questions as pure text-books, 
and the establishment of the chairs of physical science 
contemplated by the despatch, Dr. Duff led the party 
in the senate, consisting of Bishop Cotton, Archdeacon 
Pratt, Dr. Kay, Dr. Ogilvie, Dr. Cowell, Dr. Mullens, 
Dr. K. M. Banerjea, Sir H. Durand, Bishop Stuart, 
Mr. C. U. Aitchison, Mr. Samuel Laing, Sir C. Tre- 
velyan and the present writer. Of his leadership, 
affecting the books and subjects daily studied by 
the thousands of youths under the jurisdiction of the 
University from Peshawur to Ceylon, Dr. Banerjea 
has thus written : " To his gigantic mind the suc- 
cessive Vice-Chancellors paid due deference, and he 
was the virtual governor of the University. The 
examining system still in force was mainly of his 
creation, and although it may be capable of improve- 
ment with the progress of society, yet those who 
complain of the large area of subjects involved in it 

3&4 LIFE 0F DE « D UFF. 1863, 

stem to forget that narrow-mindedness is not a less 
mischievous evil than shallowness of mind. Dr. Duff 
was again the first person who insisted on education 
in the physical sciences, and strongly urged the estab- 
lishment of a professorship of physical science for 
the University. Although he first met with opposi- 
tion in official quarters, yet his influence was such 
that it could not be shaken." 

The Viceroy is, by his office, Chancellor of the 
University, and he appoints the Vice-Chancellor for 
a term of two years. Lord Elgin naturally turned 
to Sir Charles Trevelyan, who had been sent out as 
his financial colleague in council. But although the 
honour had been well won, that official would not wear 
it so long as it had not been offered to one whom he 
thus declared worthier : 

"Calcutta, 22nd March, 1863. 

"My Dear Dr. Duff, — I have written to Sir R. Napier 
requesting that he will submit to the Governor-General my 
strong recommendation that you should be appointed Vice- 
Chancellor of the University, and entirely disclaiming the 
honour on my part if there should have been any idea of 
appointing me. It is yours by right, because you have borne 
without rest or refreshment the burden and heat of the long 
day, which I hope is not yet near its close ; and, what concerns 
us all more, if given to you it will be an unmistakable public 
acknowledgment of the paramount claims of national educa- 
tion, and will be a great encouragement to every effort that 
may be made for that object. — Very sincerely yours, Ch. 
Trevelyan. " 

Alas ! by that time " the long day " was already 
overshadowed, so far as residence in India was con- 
cerned. The friend of his student days at St. An- 
drews, and of his later career, Dr. Tweedie, had been 
taken away. Dr. W. Hanna had taken up the duty of 
the home control of the Foreign Missions only long 
enough to show how well he would have exercised it 


for both India, Africa and the Church, if he could have 
continued to bear the burden. Dr. Candlish had tem- 
porarily entered the breach. Again, as in 1847, the cry 
reached Dr. Duff, " Come home to save the missions." 
But neither Committee nor General Assembly moved 
him till another finger pointed the way. In the fatal 
month of July, 1863, his old enemy, dysentery, laid 
him low. To save his life, the physicians hurried him 
off on a sea voyage to China. He had dreamed that 
the coolness of such a Himalayan station as Darjeeling 
would complete the cure. But he was no longer the 
youth who had tried to fight disease in 1834, and had 
been beaten home in the struggle. He had worked like 
no other man, in East and West, for the third of a cen- 
tury. So, in letters to Dr. Candlish from Calcutta and 
the China Seas, he reviewed all the way by which he 
had been led to recognise the call of Providence, and 
he submitted. He returned, by Bombay and Madras, 
to Calcutta, and there he quietly set himself to prepare 
for his departure. 

The varied communities of Bengal were roused, not 
to arrest the homeward movement, the pain of which to 
him, as well as the loss to India, they knew to be over- 
borne by a divinely marked necessity, but to honour 
the venerable missionary as not even Governors had 
ever been honoured. At first, such was the instinctive 
conviction of the true catholicity of his mission, and 
the self-sacrifice of his whole career, that it was re- 
solved to unite men of all creeds in one memorial of 
him. A committee, of which Bishop Cotton, Sir C. 
Trevelyan, and the leading natives and representatives 
of the other cities of India were members, resolved to 
reproduce, in the centre of the educational buildings of 
the metropolis, the Maison Carree of Nismes. The 
marble hall, the duplicate of that exquisite gem of 
Greek architecture in an imperial province, was to be 

vol. 11. 

$86 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1863. 

used for and to symbolise the catholic pursuit of truth 
on a basis not less broad and divine than that which 
he had given to the Bethune Society. But, as there 
were native admirers of the man who thought this too 
Christian, so there were many of his own countrymen 
who desired to mark still more vividly his peculiar genius 
as a missionary. The first result accordingly was the 
endowment in the University of Duff scholarships, to 
be held, one by a student of his own college, one by a 
student of the Eurasian institutions for which he had 
done so much, and two by the best students of all the 
affiliated arts colleges, now fifty-seven in number. The 
Bethune Society and the Doveton College procured oil 
portraits of their benefactor by the best artists. His 
own students, Christian and non-Christian, placed his 
marble bust in the hall where so many generations of 
youths had sat at his feet. And a few of the Scottish 
merchants of India, Singapore, and China offered him 
£11,000. The capital he destined for the invalided 
missionaries of his own Church, and for these it is now 
administered by the surviving donors as trustees. On 
the interest of this sum he thenceforth lived, refusing 
all the emoluments of the offices he held. The only 
personal gift which he was constrained to accept was the 
house, 22, Lauder Road, Edinburgh, which the same 
friends insisted on purchasing for him. 

The valedictory addresses which poured in upon him, 
and his replies, in the last days of 1863 would fill a 
volume. Almost every class and creed in Bengal was 
represented. The forty or fifty members of the united 
Missionary Conference, of which he had been a founder 
thirty-three years before, thus poured out their hearts, 
testifying in the name of all the Reformed Churches, 
British, American and European, to the value of that 
system of evangelizing Brahman and Muhammadan 
which, a generation before, their predecessors had op- 


posed : " They cannot refrain from bearing their testi- 
mony to the distinguished service he has rendered to 
the cause of Christian education, by means of the Free 
Church Institution, during the entire period of his 
missionary life, and by his valuable counsels in the estab- 
lishment of the University of Calcutta in recent years. 
Nor do they forget the powerful influence exerted upon 
the Christian Church during his visits home by his able 
advocacy of the claims of missions. In parting with 
their beloved friend and brother, the Conference desire 
to convey to him afresh the assurance of their w T arm 
affection and esteem. They glorify God in him, and 
while they regret that missionary work in India is 
deprived of his personal services, they wish him, in 
the new sphere opened to him at home, the continued 
enjoyment of the Master's favour, and the possession of 
divine peace, so long as life lasts." Private friends, 
like Durand, and high officials who knew only his public 
services, made it, by their letters and memorials, still 
more difficult to say farewell to a land which the true 
Anglo-Indian loves with a passionate longing for its 
people and their civilizers. Very pathetic was his 
farewell to his own students, those in Christ and those 
still halting between two opinions. But most charac- 
teristic of his whole work, his spiritual fidelity, and his 
cultured comprehensiveness, was the reply to the grate- 
ful outpourings of the Bethune Society, representing all 
educated non-Christian Bengal. The whole pamphlet, 
address and reply, marks the difference between 1830 
and 1863, and in that difference the work he had done. 
Having passed the philanthropic and educative objects 
of the society in review, he reminded its members : 

"Much as I have delighted in these objects, it is not 
solely, or even chiefly for the promotion of these, that 
[ was originally induced to exchange my beloved 
native Grampians with their exhilarating breezes, for 

388 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1863. 

the humid plains of Bengal with their red and copper 
sky and scorching atmosphere. Oh, no ! There is 
on record no instance, so far as I know, of mere liter- 
ature, mere science, mere philosophy, having had the 
power to sever any of their votaries from the chosen 
abodes of cultured and refined society, and to send 
them forth, not for purposes of discovery or research, 
but on errands of pure philanthropy, unto strange and 
foreign lands. But what these have failed to do, 
Christianity has been actually doing in ten thousand 
instances during the last eighteen hundred years. 
And why ? Because, while it seeks to promote man's 
earthly good in every possible way and in the highest 
possible degree, its chief aim is of a vastly higher and 
more transcendent kind. It is this higher, nobler, 
diviner aim, which supplies the impelling motive to 
disinterested self-denial in seeking to promote the 
highest welfare of man. It is the grand end which 
Christianity professes to have in view, with the 
marvellous love which prompted it, that of saving, 
through the incarnation and death of the Son of God, 
immortal souls from sin, guilt and pollution, and of 
raising them up to the heights of celestial blessedness, 
which has been found potent enough to move numbers 
to submit to the heaviest sacrifices — to relinquish home 
and the society of friends, with all their endearing 
associations and fellowships — to go forth into the 
heart of the wilderness and even jeopard their lives 
in the high places of barbarism. And the strength of 
the motive thus derived is enhanced by the assurance 
that the sovereign antidote here provided, in His wis- 
dom and beneficence, by God Himself, for the woes 
and maladies of fallen humanity, is fraught with 
peculiar power — 'the power of God' — the power of 
a divine energy accompanying the preaching of the 
gospel ; a power, therefore, fitted and designed by the 


Almighty disposer of all influence, to operate on the 
mind of man, in all states and conditions of life, with 
a far more imperial sway than any other known 
agency. While this assurance, again, is mightily con- 
firmed by actual historic evidence that there is that, 
in its wondrous tale of unspeakable tenderness and 
love, in the awful solemnity of its sanctions, in the 
vitalizing force of its motives, in the terribleness of its 
threatenings, in the alluring sweetness of its promises, 
and in the grandeur and magnificence of its proffered 
rewards, which has been found divinely adapted to 
pierce into the darkest heathen intellect, to arouse 
into action its long slumbering faculties, to melt into 
contrition the most obdurate savage heart and enchain 
its wild roving desires and restless impulses with a 
fascination more marvellous and more absolute far 
than aught that fables yet have feigned or hope con- 

" Truly blessed, according to the records of history, 
are the people that know the joyful sound. Designed 
of heaven to reach and penetrate all ears, to move and 
affect all hearts, it has already gladdened the homes of 
multitudes among all kindreds and tribes and peoples 
and nations. Having an intelligible message of peace and 
goodwill for every man, in every place, at every time and 
under every varying circumstance, it has been wafted 
by heralds of salvation over every girdling zone of 
earth. Unrelaxed by temperate warmth, unscathed 
by torrid heat, unbenumbed by arctic cold, it can 
point to its trophies in every realm of civilization, in 
every barbarian clime, in every savage island. As a 
conqueror it has entered the palaces of mightiest 
monarchs and raised into more than earthly royalty 
the tenants of the humble wigwam. It has controlled 
the deliberations of sages and senates, it has stilled the 
uproar of tattooed warriors wielding the ruthless toma- 

390 LIFE OF DR. DOFF, 1863. 

hawk. It lias caused the yell and whoop of murderous 
onslaught to be exchanged for the soft cadences of 
prayer, and the mellow tones of praise and gladness. 
It has prevailed on the marauding hordes of the 
wilderness to cast off the habits and customs of a 
brutish ancestry, and to emulate the improved modes 
and manners of refined society. It has impelled them 
to fling aside the bones and the beads, the paint and 
the feathers, which only rendered nakedness more 
hideous, and to assume the garb and the vesture be- 
fitting the requirements of decency and moral worth. 
It has successfully invaded the halls of science, and 
humbled proud philosophy into the docility of childhood. 
It has wrought its way into the caverns of debasing 
ignorance, and illumined them with the rays of celestial 
light. It has gone down into the dens of foulest in- 
famy, and there reared altars of devotion in upright 
hearts and pure ; it has mingled its voice with the 
ragings of the tempest, and hung the lamp of a glorious 
immortality over the sinking wreck. It has lighted on 
the gory battle-field, and poured the balm of consola- 
tion into the soul of the dying hero. It has made 
the thievish honest, the lying truthful, the churl liberal. 
It has rendered the slothful industrious, the improvi- 
dent forecasting, and the careless considerate. It has 
ensured amplest restitution for former lawless exac- 
tions, and thrown bounteous handfuls into the treasury 
of future beneficence. It has converted extravagance 
into frugality, unfeeling apathy into generous well- 
doing, and the discord of frantic revelry into the har- 
monies of sacred song. It has changed cruelty into 
sympathy, hatred into love, malice into kindliness and 
goodwill. It has relieved the poor and the needy, 
comforted the widow, and blessed the fatherless. lb 
has, on errands of mercy, visited the loathsome dun- 
geon, braved the famine, and confronted the plague. 


It has wrenched the iron rod from the grasp of 
oppression, and dashed the fiery cup from the lips of 
intemperance. It has strewn flowers over the grave of 
old enmities, and woven garlands round the columns 
of the temple of peace. And if, in spite of these and 
other mighty achievements, which have followed as a 
retinue of splendour in its train, its success may not 
have been so extensive and complete as the transcend- 
ency of its divinity might have led us to expect, Chris- 
tians never allow themselves to forget that the ages 
which are past have only witnessed its birth-throes 
and infantile development in any land — that the 
time is fast approaching when it will display its giant 
form, and go forth in the greatness of its strength ; 
when it will thresh the mountains of error and of sin, 
and scatter them like the dust before the whirlwind 
on the summer threshing-floor, and when, with every 
darkening cloud evanished, it will arise and shine with 
the effnlgency of noon-day over an emancipated and 
renovated earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. . 

"That bright and glorious era for India and the 
world I have long seen in the vision of faith. The 
vividly realized hope of it has often sustained me amid 
toils and sufferings, calumny and reproach, disappoint- 
ment and reverse. And the assured prospect of its 
ultimate realization helps now to shoot some gleams of 
light athwart the darkness of my horizon ; and, so far, 
to blunt the keen edge of grief and sadness, when 
about to bid a final adieu to these long-loved Indian 
shores. Some of you may live to witness not merely 
its blissful dawn but its meridian effulgence; to me 
that privilege will not be vouchsafed. My clays are 
already in ' the sere and yellow leaf ; ' the fresh flush 
of vernal budding has long since exhausted itself ; the 
sap and vigour of summer's outbursting fulness have 
well-nigh gone, leaving me dry and brittle, like a 

392 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1863. 

withered herb or flower at the close of autumn; the 
hoar frost of old age — age prematurely old — grim 
wintry old age, is fast settling down upon me. But 
whether, under the ordination of the High and Holy 
One, Who inhabiteth eternity, my days be few or many ; 
whether my old age be one of decrepitude or of privi- 
leged usefulness, my best and latest thoughts will be 
still of India. Wherever I wander, wherever I roam ; 
wherever I labour, wherever I rest, my heart will be 
still in India. So long as I am in this tabernacle of 
clay I shall never cease, if permitted by a gracious 
Providence, to labour for the good of India ; my latest 
breath will be spent i«n imploring blessings on India and 
its people. And when at last this frail mortal body is 
consigned to the silent tomb, while I myself think 
that the only befitting epitaph for my tombstone would 
be — ' Here lies Alexander Duff, by nature and practice 
a sinful guilty creature, but saved by grace, through 
faith in the blood and righteousness of his Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ ; ' — were it, by others, thought 
desirable that any addition should be made to this 
sentence, I would reckon it my highest earthly honour, 
should I be deemed worthy of appropriating the 
grandly generous words, already suggested by the 
exuberant kindness of one of my oldest native friends, 
in some such form as follows: 'By profession, a 
missionary ; by his life and labours, the true and con- 
stant friend of India.' Pardon my weakness ; nature 
is overcome; the gush of feeling is beyond control ; 
amid tears of sadness I must now bid you all a 
solemn farewell." 

Such was his last message; and these were the 
words in which the two men in India best able to 
estimate his deeds impartially, spoke of him officially 
to natives and to Europeans. 

Sir Henry Maine, who had succeeded to the position 


of Yice-Oliancellor of the University, which, illness kept 
Dr. Duff from then filling, said of him in convocation : 
" It would be easy for me to enumerate the direct 
services which he rendered to us by aiding us with 
unflagging assiduity, in the regulation, supervision, 
and amendment of our course of study ; but in the 
presence of so many native students and native 
gentlemen who viewed him with the intensest regard 
and admiration, although they knew that his every- 
day wish and prayer was to overthrow their ancient 
faith, I should be ashamed to speak of him in any 
other character than the only one which he cared 
to fill — the character of a missionary. Regarding 
him then as a missionary, the qualities in him which 
most impressed me — and you will remember that I 
speak of nothing except what I myself observed — 
were first of all his absolute self-sacrifice and self- 
denial. Religions, so far as I know, have never been 
widely propagated, except by two classes of men — by 
conquerors or by ascetics. The British Government 
of India has voluntarily (and no doubt wisely) abne- 
gated the power which its material force conferred on 
it, and, if the country be ever converted to the religion 
of the dominant race, it will be by influences of the 
other sort, by the influence of missionaries of the type 
of Dr. Duff. Next I was struck — and here we have 
the point of contact between Dr. Duff's religious and 
educational life — by his perfect faith in the harmony 
of truth. I am not aware that he ever desired the 
University to refuse instruction in any subject of 
knowledge because he considered it dangerous. Where 
men of feebler minds or weaker faith would have 
shrunk from encouraging the study of this or that 
classical language, because it enshrined the archives 
of some antique superstition, or would have refused to 
stimulate proficiency in this or that walk of physical 

394 LlF ® 0F DR - duff. 1863. 

science, because its conclusions were supposed to lead 
to irreligious consequences, Dr. Duff, believing his 
own creed to be true, believed also that it had the 
great characteristic of truth — that characteristic which 
nothing else except truth possesses — that it can be 
reconciled with everything else which is also true. 
Gentlemen, if you only realize how rare this combina- 
tion of qualities is — how seldom the energy which 
springs from religious conviction is found united with 
perfect fearlessness in encouraging the spread of 
knowledge, you will understand what we have lost 
through Dr. Duff's departure, and why I place it 
among the foremost events in the University year." 

Dr. Cotton, the Bishop of Calcutta, in his metro- 
politan Charge, finely characterized Duff, and thus un- 
consciously answered the ignorant objections of a new 
generation to his system : 

" I need hardly remind you that such a view of 
evangelistic work in India as I am now trying to 
sketch was especially carried out by that illustrious 
missionary whose loss India is now lamenting, and 
whose name, though it does not adorn the Fasti of 
our own Church, yet may well be honoured in all 
Churches, not only for his single-eyed devotion to his 
Master's cause, during a long and active service, but 
for the peculiar position he took up in India, at a 
most important crisis. 

"It was the special glory of Alexander Duff that, 
arriving here in the midst of a great intellectual 
movement of a completely atheistical character, he 
at once resolved to make that character Christian. 
When the new generation of Bengalees and too many, 
alas ! of their European friends and teachers were 
talking of Christianity as an obsolete superstition, 
soon to be burnt up in the pyre on which the creeds 
of the Brahman, the Bhuddist and the Muhammadan 


were already perishing, Alexander Duff suddenly 
burst upon the scene, with his unhesitating faith, his 
indomitable energy, his varied erudition, and his never- 
failing stream of fervid eloquence, to teach them that 
the gospel was not dead or sleeping, not the ally of 
ignorance and error, not ashamed or unable to vindi- 
cate its claims to universal reverence ; but that then, 
as always, the gospel of Christ was marching forward 
in the van of civilization, and that the Church of 
Christ was still ' the light of the world.' The effect of 
his fearless stand against the arrogance of infidelity 
has lasted to this day ; and whether the number he has 
baptized is small or great (some there are among them 
whom we all know and honour), it is quite certain 
that the work which he did in India can never be 
undone, unless we, whom he leaves behind, are faith- 
less to his example." 




Last Farewell to India. — In the Hotspur with Captain Toynbee. — 
Reviewing the Past. — Spiritual Musings. — Death of a Missionary's 
Wife. — First View of the Kaffrarian Coast. — Cape Town on the 
Thirty-fourth Anniversary of the Shipwreck. — The First Mission- 
ary to the Hottentots. — Efforts of Ziegenbalg and Martyn for 
South Africa. — Dr. Duff's Wagon Tour from Genadenthal to 
Maritzburg. — With Bishop Gray during the Colenso Trial. — 
Preaching and Reorganizing at Lovedale and Burnshill, Pirie and 
King William's Town. — Dr. Livingstone. — Edinburgh, Perth and 
Aberdeen. — Lord Lawrence Visits the Calcutta Institution in 
State. — Duff's Plan of a Missionary Professorship, Institute, and 
Quarterly Review. — The Collegiodi Propaganda Fide. — Raymond 
Lull and Walaous. — Cromwell's Protestant Council. — Duff's Ex- 
perience at St. Andrews. The Professorship Endowed. — Cor- 
respondence with H. M. Matheson, Esq. — The Institute and the 
Quarterly Postponed. — The Science of Religion. 

So Alexander Duff said farewell to India. He might 
have sought rest after the third of a century's toil. He 
was nearing, too, the sabbatic seventh of the three- 
score and ten years of the pilgrimage of man — a de- 
cade to which many great souls, like his own master 
and friend, Thomas Chalmers, had looked forward as a 
period of calm preparation for the everlasting sabbath- 
keeping. But Duff was again leaving India, and for 
the last time, only to enter on fourteen years of cease- 
less labour, as well as prayer, for the cause to which he 
had given his life. It was well for him that some 
months of enforced rest were laid upon him. These 
were still the days of Cape voyages, about to be made 


things of the past for the majority of travellers by the 
Suez Canal. In the spacious cabins and amid the 
quiet surroundings of the last and best of the old 
East Indiamen, the convalescent found health ; while 
the invalids whom nothing could save in the tropics, 
and who too often now fall victims to the scorching of 
the Red Sea route, had another chance or a lengthened 
spell of calm before the bell sadly yet sweetly tolled 
for burial at sea. The wearied, wasted missionary, 
attended to the ghaut by sorrowing friends, went on 
board the Hotspur, on Saturday, the 20th December, 

Not only in the ship, but in Captain Toynbee, who 
is known as one of the foremost of Christian sailors, 
was he peculiarly fortunate. That officer has supplied 
these reminiscences of the voyage as far as Cape 
Town : " Knowing how many were grieving at Dr. 
Duff's departure from India, it could not fail to strike 
us that the c proper lesson ' read in the morning ser- 
vice the next day was Acts xx., with the words, 'And 
they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed 
him; sorrowing most of all for the words which he 
spake, that they should see his face no more ; ' and 
Dr. Duff then so weak that he could only sit quietly by 
and listen. By the time that we had been a week at 
sea, however, he said that, though he could take no 
share in the Sunday morning service, as it was held in 
the open air which would make speaking too fatiguing, 
he would like to say a few words after the evening 
prayer. He began, taking the Ten Commandments as 
his subject, in so low a tone that it was difficult to 
hear ; but his enthusiasm seemed to overcome even the 
physical weakness, and his voice was full, and his lan- 
guage grand, as he preached for nearly an hour. All 
enjoyed and admired those sermons, which he con- 
tinued in a series each Sunday evening until we reached 

39& LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1863. 

the Cape, none ever complaining of their length, 
though their effect on himself was seen in his fatigued 
look the next day. "We had invalid soldiers on 
board. He soon found out the sick men and visited 
them, holding a short service on the lower deck every 
day. He also interested himself in a school amongst 
the soldiers' children, and in the illness and death of 
Mrs. Ellis, the wife of a missionary going home for her 
health. Though his health improved he continued very 
weak. Being a very poor sleeper, he used to look sadly 
worn some mornings after a rough night ; but there 
was never anything approaching to complaining on his 
part, only a patient smile, and the remark, * I heard 
my friend' as he called one of the sailors whose harsh 
voice had waked him more than once. The contrast 
between his patience and the impatience of others on 
board who were not so ill as he was, was noticed even 
by the servants. A young cavalry officer on board re- 
marked to me, ' If all missionaries were like Dr. Duff, 
India would be a different place.' 

" The morning he spent in his cabin, but in the 
evening he used to come on deck and sit enjoying the 
glories of sky and sea, for which he had intense ap- 
preciation. He conversed with so much interest and 
animation that those were times of rare enjoyment. 
Sometimes he told us of his varied travels ; once of 
his shipwreck. I was struck by the accuracy of his 
memory, which could, after so many years, reproduce 
the whole scene so correctly as not in any point to jar 
on the fastidiousness of a nautical ear ; and more than 
once by the deep feeling he entertained for the kind- 
ness shown to him when he was leaving India, and by 
his own sorrow that it was impossible for him, consis- 
tently with a right regard to health and power of use- 
fulness, to remain in Calcutta so long as life should be 
granted to him. When he left the ship in Table Bay, 

Mt. 57. THEN AND NOW. 399 

he was warmly cheered both by soldiers and sailors. 
Those who had been admitted to the high privilege of 
nearer acquaintance with him felt that the weeks he 
had spent on board had been truly 6 a time of refresh- 
ing ' both intellectually and spiritually." 

In the brief ship journal which Dr. Duff kept, we 
have these traces of his musing and his working : — 

Monday, 21st December, 1863. — " To-day, about noon, had 
the last glimpse of Saugar Island, i.e. in reality of India. I 
remember my first glimpse of it in May, 1830. How strangely 
different my feelings then and now ! I was then entering, in 
total ignorance, on a new and untried enterprise ; but strong 
in faith and buoyant with hope, I never wished, if the Lord 
willed, to leave India at all ; but by a succession of providen- 
tial dealings, I had to leave it twice before, and now for the 
third and last time. It has been the scene of my greatest, 
trials and sufferings, as also, under God, of my greatest triumphs 
and joys. The changes — at least some of the more noticeable 
ones — were stated in my reply to the Missionary Conference. 
My feelings now are of a very mixed character. The sphere 
of labour now left had become at once familiar and delightful. 
If health be restored, my future is wrapped in clouds and thick 
darkness. I simply yield to what I cannot but believe to be 
the leadings of Providence, which seem to peal in my ears, f Go 
forward ! ' and from the experience of the past my assured 
hope is, that if I do go forward, in humble dependence on my 
God, ' light will spring up in my darkness/ I began my labours 
in 1830 literally with nothing. I leave behind me the largest, 
and, in a Christian point of view, the most successful Christian 
Institution in India, a native Church, nearly self-sustaining, 
with a native pastor, three ordained native missionaries, besides 
— with catechists and native teachers — flourishing branch mis- 
sions at Chinsurah, Bansbaria, Culna, Mahanad, etc. For all 
this, I desire to render thanks to the good and gracious God, 
Whose I am, and Whom I am bound to serve with soul, body 
and spirit, which are His. 

" Some periods of my career were very stormy ones, especially 
the first and second. During the first I was in perpetual 
hostile collision with natives, who abused and insulted me 

400 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1863. 

beyond measure in private and in the newspapers ; and also 
with Europeans, such as the ultra-orientalists, relative to the 
basis of education and its lingual media; and the lawyers, 
such as Longueville Clarke, on the rights of conscience 
in inquirers under legal age. During the second period I 
was still in violent conflict with all classes of natives on 
a vast variety of subjects. At one time some of ' the lewd 
fellows of the baser sort/ beaten down in argument, and 
confounded in their attempts to confute Christianity and de- 
stroy the Christian cause, entered into a conspiracy against my 
life. Lateeals or clubmen were hired to waylay and beat me in 
the streets. A timely discovery and exposure of the whole 
prevented execution. With the Governor-General, Lord Auck- 
land, I came into violent collision on the subject of education, 
and all the hosts of officials, secular journalists, and worldlings 
joined in one universal shout against me, of derision, scorn, con- 
tempt and indignation. Under all these oppositions I simply 
endeavoured to possess my soul in patience ; and conscious of 
the rectitude of my motives, and having a conscience void of 
offence toward God and man, I prayed God, in due time and 
in His own way, to vindicate the right and enable me to love 
my enemies. The third period of my sojourn has been less 
stormy ; and, praised be God ! I now leave India in the happy 
assurance that in ways unspeakably gracious, and on my part 
undeserved, He has ' made even my enemies to be at peace 
with me/ Oh, what shall I render unto the Lord for all His 
goodness ? 

" At the close of 1833 I was for three weeks in a pilot brig 
at these Sandheads, while recovering from a severe jungle 
fever, with my dearest and then only child, who also was 
suffering from ague. To the south of Kedjeree we saw the 
lhike of YorJc East Indiaman of 1,500 tons high and dry in 
a rice field, having been carried there in the tremendous 
cyclone of the preceding May, — perhaps the severest on 
record. The embankments were everywhere broken down. 
The sea rolled inland for scores of miles. Myriads perished. 
Jn some parts, as we passed we saw poor emaciated mothers 
o [Ferine: to us their skeleton-like children for a handful of rice. 
The whole of Saugar Island was seven or eight feet under 
water. Plantations, cleared at a great expense, were de- 
stroyed; and for years afterwards salt and not rice was the 


product. They are only now tolerably recovered. In carry- 
ing on the draining, European superintendents resided in bun- 
galows, raised ten or twelve feet from the ground, to escape 
malaria, wild beasts, etc. 

Monday, 28th. — " Yesterday, and especially to-day, had much 
enjoyment in my own soul. The first three chapters of the 
Epistle to the Romans appeared more wonderful than ever in 
their delineation of man's fearful apostasy from God, his utter 
helplessness and hopelessness, and the unspeakably glorious 
remedy in the unspotted righteousness of Christ. This illus- 
trates to my own mind the true doctrine of Scripture develop- 
ment. It is not the revelation of any new truth, but the un- 
folding of truth already there, in new connections and new 
applications, showing in this new expansion of it (as it appears 
to the more highly illumined soul) a breadth and extent of 
significancy not previously discerned. 

Thursday, 31st. — u The last day of the year. What a year to 
me ! In some respects the most memorable of my life ; for in 
it, in a way unexpected, the Lord, by His overruling provi- 
dence, has not only altered but reversed the cherished purpose 
of thirty-four years, which was to live and labour and die in 
India. Having already, in many forms, expressed my mind on 
this subject, I shall say no more now, but this : ' Oh, may the 
Lord make it increasingly clear to me that I am really doing 
His will — really seeking, in sole obedience to His will, to pro- 
mote His glory ! ' 

January 1st, 1864. — " God in mercy grant that this year 
may unfold more clearly to my own mind and inward and 
outward experience His gracious purpose in blasting the 
cherished wishes and purposes of my whole ministerial life. 
What work, O Lord, hast Thou in store for me wherewith to 
glorify Thy holy name ? Oh for light on this still dark and 
most perplexing subject ! But I wait, O Lord ! — I wait — I 
wait on Thee. 

Tuesday, 19th. — " The sea tempestuous — half a gale. I could 
not go to Mrs. Ellis as usual between 10 and 11 a.m. At noon 
made an effort to see her. She had suddenly become worse, 
and the captain wished me to tell her her case was critical. I 
could do so with all confidence, for previous conversations with 
her showed that she was a true follower of the Lamb. Calmly 
and resignedly to His holy will she spoke, placing her whole 


402 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1864 

trust and confidence in Him, and in Him alone. ' Justified/ 
she said, f by His blood/ she had nothing to fear for her- 
self, though she feelingly alluded to her husband, her mother 
and sisters at home, and two youug children aboard. Soon 
after I left her I was obliged again to lie down, and was pros- 
trated the whole day and evening. She died, or rather fell 
gently asleep in Jesus, about eleven o'clock last night, and 
this morning at a quarter-past seven was most solemnly 
consigned to the deep, in her case looking with assured 
hope to the resurrection of the body, when the sea shall give 
up her dead. The captain read the English service, and all 
present were affected even to tears. The presence of the 
two children, too young to know their loss, touched the hearts 
of all. 

21st. — "This forenoon another soldier died of dysentery, 
and in half an hour after was consigned to the deep, Captain 
Strange reading the funeral service. I had been seeing him 
daily of late; he was very ignorant — could not read. I again 
and again reiterated the simple principles of the gospel, and 
prayed with him, but without much satisfaction. To encounter 
the languor, weakness, and pains of a death-bed, ignorant of 
the very elements of the gospel ! oh, it is a lamentable con- 
dition indeed. Captain Strange is a very worthy kind-hearted 
man, particularly attentive to all the wants of the soldiers, 
temporal and spiritual. 

23rd. — " About 200 miles north of Madagascar. Last night 
very sleepless. Milton and Cowper, my favourite poets, read 
as a balm, acted on my turbid spirits somewhat like the spicy 
breezes from Araby the Blest on the senses or imagination of 
the old mariners. It is the rare combination of genuine 
poetry with genuine piety which achieves this result. Being 
now south of the Mozambique Channel, the wind has changed 
from S.E. to N.E., and is warmer. The term Mozambique 
reminds one of the adroitness with which Milton drags every- 
thing which constituted the knowledge of his time, by way of 
similitude, illustration, or otherwise, into his wondrous song. 
Referring to Satan's approach to Paradise — delicious Para- 
dise — and to the way in which he was met and regaled by 
' gentle gales/ which, ' fanning their odoriferous wings, dis- 
pense native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole those 
balmy spoils/ he thus proceeds : 


1 As, when to them who sail 
Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past 
Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow 
Sabean odours from the spicy shore 
Of Araby the Blest, with such delay 
Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league 
Cheered with the grateful smell old Ocean smiles.' 

27th. — " Last night saw two lights in the direction of the 
land. A stellar observation showed we were opposite Buffalo 
River and Mountains. To-day off the eastern extremity of 
Algoa Bay, so that I must go back the whole distance 
traversed this morning, our Mission stations being in Kaffraria, 
east of the Keiskamma River. 

29th. — " At noon exactly off Cape Agulhas, the most south- 
erly point of Africa. With my binocular, Durand's parting 
gift, the lighthouse seen with great clearness. The coast 
high, bleak, rugged, barren, recalls the exclamation of one 
of the Scottish emigrants under Mr. Pringle, who arrived 
in 1820, somewhat farther to the west, near Simon's Bay : 
' Hech, sirs, but this is an ill-favoured and outlandish-looking 
country. I wad fain hope, that thae hieland hills and muirs 
are no a fair sample o' our African location/ The dazzling 
white masses of sand — white as the ' driven snow — painfully 
remind me of Dassen Island, on which we were wrecked, 
13th Feb., 1830 surrounded, except ab one point, by low 
rocky reefs, and itself a waste of white sand, in which the 
penguins lay their eggs, and on which we mainly subsisted for 
about three days ! Praised be God for our wonderful deliver- 
ance then, and our continued preservation ever since ! I 
approach the termination of my present voyage with peculiar 
feelings — knowing no one at Cape Town, a journey inland of 
700 miles before me, with not a glimpse of light, as yet, on 
the course to be pursued. But I approach in faith, because in 
the path of duty, humbly trusting that, when the time comes, 
light will arise on my darkness, to the praise and glory of a 
good, gracious, covenant-keeping God ! 

30th. — " A furious south-easter ! Happily we had turned 
the Cape, so that the vessel was kept close on to the shore. 
At dawn we were a little to the south of Table Mountain, 
the loftiest of that wild and rugged mountain mass which 
stretches from Table Bay to the Cape, against which, as a 

404 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1864. 

mighty breakwater, the stupendous billows of the confluence 
of all the great oceans for ever dash and roar. . The wind 
being off land the sea was comparatively smooth, while the 
gale blew with the force of a hurricane. All around the sky 
was cloudless, except the summit of Table Mountain, which 
was covered as usual with a dense mass of clouds, its famous 
table-cloth. The whole scene was singularly grand. The 
waves rolling and curling and breaking into spray, and the 
spray whirled aloft by the furious gusts, gave the appearance 
all around of a dazzling white mist ; and dashing on the rocks 
that line the shore seemed to cover them with an elevated bank 
of foam and vapour, the mountain behind looking down in 
vast precipices, and towering aloft into mid-air, in rounded 
tops, or conical peaks, or rugged serrated ridges. At last the 
sun breaking through the upper edges of the clouds over the 
Table Mountain, and shining down on shore and sea, gave such 
a profusion of lights and shades and colours, as no pencil 
could adequately portray. When fairly abreast of Table Moun- 
tain we could not be above half a mile from the shore. To 
the north-west of the Table Mountain, and separated by a high 
pass, is the singularly shaped hill which, as seen from Table 
Bay, resembles a gigantic lion couchant — the southern terminus 
of it called the Lion's Head, and the northern, Lion's Rump. 
When close under the head this morning, it looked like a 
mighty mitre (of cardinal or pope) resting on a dome-like 
cranium. On the rump we could see the signal flag. Below 
the rump, at its northern extremity, is Green Point, covered 
with beautiful villas and gardens; passing it, the whole of 
Cape Town, embosomed in the vast cut de sac or corrie of the 
mountain came into full view. The instant we rounded the 
point, the wind, which was strong enough before, blew with 
double fury across the level open between Table Bay and 
False Bay. But by skilful zigzag tacking the captain beat 
his way into the anchorage, in the very face of the hurricane 
fury of the south-easter, casting anchor exactly at half-past 
eight a.m. I felt impelled at once to enter my closet, shut the 
door, and return unfeigned thanks to my heavenly Father for 
the prosperous voyage to this place. Exactly on the evening 
of this day six weeks I embarked at Calcutta. What reason 
of gratitude have I for all God's mercies ! The servant who 
was wont to attend on me tapped at my cabin door, saying 


that a gentleman from the shore wanted to see me. It was 
about five minutes to nine, and we had not been anchored 
quite half an hour. Who should it prove to be but the 
Rev. Mr. Morgan, minister of the established Scotch Kirk, to 
take me to his manse." 

To His Wipe. 
" Genadenthal, Moravian Mission, 13th Feb., 1864. 

"This is the thirty- fourth anniversary, alike according to the 
day of the week, the day of the month and the hour of the 
night, of our ever memorable shipwreck on Dassen Island. 
How different my position this evening, in South Africa ! 
Comfortably lodged with the Moravian Brethren in this far- 
famed village, — the oldest and most populous of all South 
African Mission stations, — I feel, as it were, forced by the very 
contrast, to realize more vividly the night scene of thirty-four 
years ago on these South African shores. What changes and 
events have been crowded into these thirty-four years ! And yet, 
contrary to all ordinary expectation, both of us still, by God's 
mercy, in the land of the living, to celebrate Jehovah's loving- 
kindnesses. Oh, for a live coal from the altar to kindle up 
this naturally cold and languid heart of mine, so constantly apt 
to sink back into sluggishness and apathy, into a glow of 
seraphic fervour, in the review of God's unspeakable mercies ! 

"In order to see something of the working of other Missions, 
I soon resolved to proceed to KafFraria by the ordinary land 
route. The distance is about 700 miles — about the distance 
from John o'Groat's House to Land's End in Cornwall. This 
implied my getting a wagon and eight mules. All this prepar- 
ation occupied nearly a week, during which I saw many of the 
Cape Town notabilities. The Bishop and Dean, etc., called 
on me. The Honble. Mr. Rawson (whose acquaintance I made 
in Calcutta in 18 19 ,) the Colonial Secretary, was so pressing 
in his invitation, that I went out with him to his beautifully 
situated house at Wynberg, and stayed over the night. The next 
day he took me to call on some of the notables of the place ; 
taking lunch with the Bishop, and I also went out to spend 
good part of a day with Dr. Adamson. Old Mr. Saunders is 
still living, and full of inquiries about you. 

" On Saturday, 6th Feb., I went by train (for there is a rail- 
way line of fifty-eight miles, to Wellington, N.E. of Cape Town) 
to Stellenbosch, thirty-one miles. There I stayed with Mr. 

4-06 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1864. 

Murray, one of the professors of the Theological Seminary 
of the Dutch Reformed Church. His uncle was the late 
Dr. Murray, of the Free Church, Aberdeen. There saw the 
Wesleyan and Rhenish Mission schools, etc. Monday 8th, 
went by rail on to Wellington, its utmost limit. There saw a 
French mission : On Tuesday I went by covered cart, across 
a striking pass to Worcester, upwards of forty miles distant. 
There I stayed with Mr. Murray, minister of the Dutch Church, 
and brother of the professor, both most able and devoted men. 
There saw the Rhenish Mission schools. Wednesday, returned 
to Stellenbosch. Thursday, went out with Professor Murray 
to Piniel, twelve miles off, to see an independent self-sustain- 
ing mission, under a Mr. Stegman, who is in connection with 
110 society. 

" To Eerse River, where I expected to find my wagon 
waiting for me. There finding all right, after breakfast I set 
off, in a S.B. direction and close to False Bay, crossed a lofty 
pass, called Sir Lowry Cole's Pass after the governor who sent 
the sloop of war to take us from Dassen Island. The custom 
in travelling here is, at the end of two or three hours, to stop 
and unyoke the animals (or, according to Colonial Dutch 
phraseology, to outspan), let them take a roll in the sand, and 
browse about, and drink water, for an hour. Towards evening 
came to a small inn, the only one between Cape Town and 
Genadenthal. I did not like the look of it ; so the evening 
being dry and weather pleasant I slept in my wagon. On 
Saturday I proceeded to Genadenthal, and the Moravian 
missionaries with their children and higher students were out 
in a green hollow, with carts, waiting to salute me." 

Christian Missions in South and East Africa are 
the offspring of those in India. It was Ziegenbalg, the 
first Protestant missionary to India, who, after a 
passing visit to the Cape in 1705, induced the United 
or Moravian Brethren to evangelize those whom the 
Dutch called Hottentots. Georg Schmidt, a Bohe- 
mian Bunyan, was no sooner freed from his six years' 
imprisonment for Christ's sake, than, in 1737, he went 
out to Cape Town. He was with difficulty allowed by 
the Dutch to begin his mission in Affenthal, in the 


hills eighty miles to the east. There lie did such a 
work in the " valley of apes " that a Dutch Governor 
long after changed its name to the " valley of grace," 
or Genadenthal. The Boers banished him to Holland, 
and it was left to the British to begin missions anew. 
What Ziegenbalg had urged Henry Martyn repeated. 
Standing beside Sir David Baird, as, in 1806, the 
British flag a second time waved over the Dutch fort, 
the evangelical missionary-chaplain of the East India 
Company prayed " that the capture of the Cape might 
be ordered to the advancement of Christ's kingdom. " 
From Genadenthal the great light radiated forth, east 
and north, amid the wars and butcheries which it 
would have anticipated, till now, after three-quarters 
of a century, a sixth of the whole population of South 
Africa, up to the Zambesi, is Christian. There are 
180,000 native and 358,000 colonist Christians.* From 
south to north, from the Cape to the Nile mouths, an 
ever strengthening chain of missionary stations now 
draws Africa to Christ. 

Dr. Duff went to Africa to inspect those of his own 
Church, which had begun in Kaffraria in 1821, after 
the Kaffirs had been driven north behind the Keis- 
kamma. Divided, after the Disruption of 1843, between 
the Free and the United Presbyterian Churches, por- 
tions of which still imagine the existence of a purely 
metaphysical difference of opinion on the subject of 
the relation of the Church to the State, these Missions 
must be united again before there can be an indigenous 
Kaffir Church. Dr. Duff began, as his letters show, 
by personally inspecting and stimulating, while he 
learned experience from, all the Missions along the great 
trunk route east from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, 
north-east by Grahamstown to King "Williamstown 

* South Africa and its Mission Fields, by Rev. J. E. Carlyle. 1878. 

408 LIFE OF Dft. DUFF. 1864. 

and the stations in British Kaffraria, then north 
through the Orange Free State, and then east again 
into Natal. The time was three years before the first 
diamond was found. The season was unusually wet 
but cool. At Port Elizabeth the Eastern Provinces 
Herald thus reported how he met with the sailor 
who had saved his wife's life in the memorable ship- 
wreck : " Mrs. Duff would have perished but for the 
dauntless bravery of the second mate. Singularly 
enough when Dr. Duff visited this port he happened to 
be here also, and no sooner did he know of the arri- 
val of the veteran missionary than he hurried to the 
Rev. Mr. Rennie's house once more to see him. The 
meeting was very affecting, Dr. Duff being unable to 
conceal his emotion at so unexpectedly beholding the 
preserver of his wife." The second mate had become 
Captain Saxon. 

Ecclesiastically all South Africa was in a commotion, 
not for the christianization of the forty or fifty mil- 
lions of Kaffirs, but because of sacerdotal and also 
evangelical struggles between Bishop Gray, claiming 
to be Metropolitan of Africa, and Dr. Colenso, insisting 
on remaining Bishop of Natal. But for the sacer- 
dotalism involved, the defence of Christian truth by 
Bishop Gray, and especially by Dean Douglas, after- 
wards Bishop of Bombay, would demand the unqualified 
gratitude of the whole Church. On the evangelical 
side of it Dr. Duff was so strongly drawn to Bishop 
Gray that he wrote to him several letters, two of which 
appear in the prelate's Biography. " Among the 
many letters of the period, the Bishop," writes his son, 
" was pleased with one from Dr. Alexander Duff, a 
well-known Free Kirk missionary from India, who 
was at that time travelling in Africa. ' Since my 
arrival,' he says, ' I have been perusing, with painful 
yet joyous interest, the trial of the Bishop of Natal for 


erroneous teaching, painful because of the erroneous 
teaching, joyous because of the noble stand made by 
your lordship and the clergy at large for true primitive 
apostolic teaching.' " Again, from Maritzburg, where 
he heard the Bishop's charge, Dr, Duff repeated his 
expressions of sympathetic appreciation. But we know, 
from a conversation which we had with him immedi- 
ately on his return from Africa, that he did more than 
this. At Wynberg, where the Bishop and he sat up 
a whole night discussing the history and cause of 
the Disruption of the Church of Scotland, Dr. Duff 
demonstrated to the sacerdotal Metropolitan, who had 
denounced " the Privy Council as the great Dagon of 
the English Church," that the spiritual independence 
inalienable from any Church worthy of Christ's name 
and spirit is not, and was not in the Free Church 
struggle, the supremacy of priests and prelates who un- 
church others by the fiction of " the grace of orders," 
but the right of the whole body, lay and clerical, as 
a kingdom of priests unto God, to worship Him, and 
administer all purely spiritual affairs solely according 
to conscience and without interference by the State, 
which has no jurisdiction there whether it endow the 
Church or not. " Hence," said Dr. Duff to a prelate 
of whom the High Church party are proud though 
they still lack the courage of their convictions, " your 
remedy is secession, with its initial sacrifice of state 
support and social prestige." The practical commentary 
on Dr. Duff's teaching was the action of Dean Douglas, 
whose indictment of Bishop Colenso in the metropoli- 
tan's court is a master-piece of evangelical theology. 
Yet when Bishop of Bombay he publicly declared that 
there could be no true or acceptable Christianity in 
India which did not flow from himself and those who 
like himself (and the Latin and Greek Churches) 
imagine they have " the grace of orders." 

4IO LIFE OP DE. DUFF. 1864, 

Dr. Duff began his work as representative of the 
committee of Foreign Missions, at its principal South 
African station of Loveclale, on the 17th March, 1864. 
The station is 650 miles north-east of Cape Town, 
and forty from King Williamstown. There to the 
presbytery, in conference, " he gave a long and interest- 
ing address in a low voice, often speaking in a 
whisper,'' according to the local report. The scholarly 
work of the Rev. W. Grovan, founder of the chief 
missionary institute in the colony, he broadened and 
developed, alike on its industrial and educational side, 
following his Calcutta experience. At that time the 
Kaffir Christian community of the Lovedale district was 
965 strong, of whom 315 were communicants. From 
Lovedale, nestling in low hills like Moffat, he proceeded 
to the large station of Burnshill, fifteen miles to the 
east, among the Amatole mountains, once Sandilli's 
capital, in the very heart of the scenes of five Kaffir 
wars. On the eastern side of these hills is the Pirie 
station, then conducted by the veteran Rev. John 
Ross, at that time forty years in the field. At all, 
and at King Williamstown, Peelton, and elsewhere, 
he preached through interpreters and mastered every 
detail of the work, putting it in a new position alike 
for greater efficiency and expansion. Thence he 
pursued the still long and difficult track through 
Basutoland with its French Mission stations, delayed 
by swollen and unbridged rivers and tracks impassable 
for the rain. But the climate he pronounced as in the 
main a fine one, in which Europeans enjoy as good 
health as in Australia. At Queenstown, in April, 
he saw hoarfrost for the first time for many years. 
Delayed by natural obstacles, and often tempted to 
turn back, he wrote from Winburgh in the Orange 
Free State, "I am content to go on, having only one 
object supremely in view, to ascertain the state and 


prospects of things in these regions in a missionary 
sense, so as to have authentic materials for future 
guidance if privileged to take the helm of our Foreign 
Mission affairs." 

After reaching Maritzburg, where he had much 
intercourse with Bishop Gray, and being attracted by 
the success of the Rev. Mr. Allison, at Edendale, he 
returned by steamer from Port Natal to Cape Town, 
where he received a public breakfast. Thence he sailed 
in the Saxon, — named after the second mate of the 
Lady Holland, — to England, which he reached in July. 
The fruits of his six months' tour of inspection we 
shall trace in the consolidation of the old, and the 
creation of new missionary agencies for Africa. While 
he had been at work in the south, Livingstone was 
exploring in the east and the centre of Africa, and 
both were unconsciously preparing for united action 
for the christianization of the Kaffir race, from the 
Keiskamma to the head of Lake Nyassa. As Duff 
was leaving Natal for the Cape, Livingstone, having 
completed his great Zambesi expedition of 1858-18o4, 
was boldly crossing the Indian Ocean to Bombay 
in the little Lady Nyassa steam launch manned by 
seven natives who had never before seen the sea. 

Dr. Duff reached Edinburgh just in time to address 
the "commission" of the General Assembly, on the 
10th August. Speedily he took his way north to 
his own county of Perth, in order to take part in 
the ordination of the Rev. W. Stevenson as a mis- 
sionary to Madras. The city hall could not contain 
the crowds to whom, after a sermon by John Milne 
surcharged with his Calcutta experiences, Dr. Duff 
addressed burning words en zeal in Foreign Missions 
the evidence of a revived Church. In Aberdeen, 
whence the Countess welcomed him to Haddo House, 
he had strength, a week after, to take part in the 

412 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1864, 

ordination of another missionary to Madras. " Not- 
withstanding his enfeebled health his voice was dis- 
tinctly heard over the large audience, and his eloquent 
and seasonable address was listened to with close 
attention and evident delight," is the record of the 
local reporters. Soon there arrived from Calcutta 
intelligence which increased his activity before he was 
physically equal to the strain. A cyclone, more disas- 
trous in the destruction of life and property than any 
he had witnessed or has since been experienced, swept 
over the mouth of the Granges on the 5th October. 
From Calcutta to Mahanad the hurricane levelled not 
a few of the mission buildings, churches, schools and 
houses. The Rev. K. S. and Mrs. Macdonald, then in 
charge, reported that sixty girls in the Calcutta Orphan- 
age, and their own children, were nearly buried undc r 
the ruins of the old house. In a few hours after receiv- 
ing the news the sympathetic veteran, well knowing all 
that the disaster involved, organized an effort to raise 
two thousand pounds, and really sent out five thou- 
sand. This rash waste of returning strength had its 
result in his enforced absence from the General As- 
sembly of 1865; but Dr. Murray Mitchell, who re- 
presented him, announced a home income for Foreign 
Missions in the previous year of £27,000, besides 
£3,000 reported by Dr. James Hamilton to the Synod 
of the English Presbyterian Church as annually con- 
tributed for its vigorous mission in China. 

At this period, too, Dr. Duff was cheered by the fact 
that, for the first time in the history of British India, 
a missionary college — his own — had been formally 
visited by a Governor-General. Sir John Lawrence 
had learned, in his Punjab and Mutiny experience, 
the truth which he thus expressed in a formal repre- 
sentation to Lord Canning, the first Viceroy : " Sir 
John Lawrence does entertain the earnest belief that 


all those measures which are really and truly Christian 
can be carried out in India, not only without danger 
to British rule, but, on the contrary, with every ad- 
vantage to its stability. Christian things done in a 
Christian way will never, the Chief Commissioner is 
convinced, alienate the heathen. About such things 
there are qualities which do not provoke nor excite dis- 
trust, nor harden to resistance. It is when unchristian 
things are done in the name of Christianity, or when 
Christian things are done in an unchristian way, that 
mischief and danger are occasioned. The difficulty 
is, amid the political complications, the conflicting 
social considerations, the fears and hopes of self- 
interest which are so apt to mislead human judgment, 
to discern clearly what is imposed upon us by Chris- 
tian duty and what is not. Having discerned this, we 
have but to put it into practice. Sir John Lawrence 
is satisfied that, within the territories committed to 
his charge, he cau carry out all those measures which 
are really matters of Christian duty on the part 
of the Government. And, further, he believes that 
such measures will arouse no danger ; will conciliate 
instead of provoking, and will subserve to the ultimate 
diffusion of the truth among the people. " The pro- 
consul of the Punjab, who wrote these words, went 
further, urging the Viceroy that this policy " be 
openly avowed and universally acted on throughout 
the Empire," " so that the people may see we have no 
sudden or sinister designs, and so that we may exhibit 
that harmony and uniformity of conduct which befits 
a Christian nation striving to do its duty." When he 
himself was called by critical times to the same high 
office, his Excellency visited in state and presided at 
the first examination of Dr. Duff's college held after 
he landed, just as he inspected the Government col- 
leges and presided as Chancellor of the University. 

414 LIFE 0F D^« DUFF. 1865. 

What a change from even Lord William Bentinck's 
time, — from tlie days when Macaulay used his Indian 
experience to dogmatize to Mr. Gladstone on Church 
and State ! We have not Dr. Duff's letter to the 
Governor-General, but this was the simple reply of the 
Viceroy, whom, as they lately laid him to rest beside 
Livingstone and Outram and Colin Campbell, in the 
nave of Westminster Abbey, the Dean most truly pro- 
nounced to be the Joshua of the British Empire: 

John Lawrence to Alexander Duff. 

iC February, 18G5. — I have had the pleasure of receiving your 
letter of the 31st January, and I am sure that I wish I could 
have been of more service to the Free Church Institution than 
I have been, for it is calculated to do much good among the 
superior classes of Bengal society. The advances they have 
made in education since I was a young man are very remark- 
able, but it is too generally in secular knowledge only. Your 
Institution seems to be the only one in which a large number 
have the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the Chris- 
tian religion also, and certainly, it* we can judge from outward 
appearances, they have not neglected to do so." 

Now that Dr. Duff was fairly and permanently in 
Scotland, he felt that the time had come to lay broad 
and deep in his own country and Church the founda- 
tions of that missionary enterprise to which he re- 
garded all his previous home campaigns as prepara- 
tory. Here, as in India, he must leave behind him 
a system based on and worked by living principles, 
which would grow and expand and bless the people 
long after he was forgotten. Financially his quarterly 
associations were well, but they would be worthless if 
not fed by spiritual forces and not directed by spiritual 
men. And he had learned, even in the first year after 
his return, to be weary of the narrow controversies 
and sectarian competition which, though inseparable 
from such a time of transition as that through which 


Scotland, like all other countries, is passing to a re- 
constructed Kirk, are hostile to catholic energy and 
spiritual life. So he determined to launch his scheme 
of a Missionary Propaganda — of a professorship of 
Evangelistic Theology, a practical Missionary Insti- 
tute, and a Missionary Quarterly Review. 

No building is so familiar to the eyes of the many 
English and Americans who annually winter in Rome 
as the Collegio di Propaganda Fide. Standing on one 
side of the Piazza di Spagna, fronted by that hideous 
specimen of modern statuary which was erected by 
Pio Nono to commemorate the myth of the Immacu- 
late Conception, the college looks like a desolate bar- 
rack or theatre, out of which long files of youths 
march every morning and evening for a little fresh air. 
Yet, unattractive as is the building designed by Ber- 
nini, and forbidding the whole aspect of the place, 
there is no spot in Rome so full of modern interest 
and so free from all that Protestants are accustomed 
to dislike in the long papal capital. Two centuries 
and a half ago the fifteenth Gregory founded that col- 
lege, to be the nurse of missionaries and the retreat of 
scholars from all parts of the earth. There, in lan- 
guages more numerous than those in which the public 
are invited to confess to the priests who flit about 
St. Peter's, youths of almost every tribe and nation 
and kingdom and tongue are fitted to go forth to 
tell the story of the Cross — and something more, 
unfortunately — to the heathen world. A library of 
thirty thousand volumes, rich in oriental manuscripts 
and works bearing on the superstitions of man's reli- 
gions, supplies an armoury for the student. The 
Museo Borgia, which boasts a portrait of the infamous 
Pope Alexander YI. side by side with the famous 
Codex Mexicanus, contains specimens of the idols, the 
arts and the industries of every country in the world 

41 6 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1865. 

from China to Peru. And the Propaganda is com- 
pleted by the possession of a printing establishment, 
which turns oat works in almost every language, of 
rare typographical beauty as well as considerable 
scholarship. There, under professors who are them- 
selves generally returned missionaries, upwards of a 
hundred and twenty youths are always under training 
to work in that field which is the world, whose har- 
vests are ever white for the sickle which there are 
so few reapers to wield. 

Duff had long been fascinated by the idea of a nur- 
sery of evangelists, from Iona and the capitular bodies 
of the old cathedrals to that tolerated for a time by 
the Dutch under Walaeus at Leyden, in 1612, and to 
the great creation of Gregory XV. in 1622. Nor should 
it be forgotten that " the philosophic missionary," the 
pioneer of all martyr-missionaries in Africa, Raymond 
Lull, had implored the Pope and the princes of Europe 
to found Christian propagandas. In 1311 he obtained 
from the Couucil of Vienna a decree for their estab- 
lishment in the Universities of Paris, Oxford, and 
Salamanca; while, in his own Majorca, he procured 
the foundation of a monastery for the instruction of 
thirteen students in Arabic and the Muhammadan 

When Cromwell used to play with the proposal to 
make him king, he declared to the Grison, Stoupe, 
whom he used as a trusty agent in foreign affairs, 
that he would " commence his reign with the establish- 
ment of a council for the Protestant religion," in 
opposition to Gregory's Propaganda, which had pro- 
duced the slaughter of the Vaudois and Milton's 
sonnet. In old Chelsea College the council were to 
train men, and from it they were to help in the evan- 
gelization of Scandinavia and Turkey, of the East and 
West Indies, as well as of the Latin Church. In 


1677 Dr. Hyde would have made Christ Church, 
Oxford, a " Collegium de Propaganda Fide." The 
father of all Christian scientists, Robert Boyle, when 
an East India director, revised the project for India 
which Prideaux advocated under the reign of William 
in 1694. And, so long ago as 1716, one of the earlier 
chaplains of the East India Company, Mr. Stevenson, 
urged the establishment of colleges in Europe to 
train missionaries and to teach them the languages. 

" When passing through the theological curricu- 
lum of St. Andrews," said Dr. Duff to the General 
Assembly, " I was struck markedly with this circum- 
stance, that throughout the whole course of the curri- 
culum of four years not one single allusion was ever 
made to the subject of the world's evangelization — the 
subject which constitutes the chief end of the Christian 
Church on earth. I felt intensely that there was 
something wrong in this omission. According to any 
just conception of the Church of Christ, the grand 
function it has to discharge in this world cannot be 
said to begin and end in the preservation of internal 
purity of doctrine, discipline and government. All this 
is merely for burnishing it so as to be a lamp to give 
light not to itself only but also to the world. There 
must be an outcome of that light, lest it prove useless, 
and thereby be lost and extinguished. Why has it 
got that light, but that it should freely impart it to 
others ? Years afterwards, on the banks of the Ganges, 
we heard that this Free Church had determined to set 
up its Hall of Theology, and that Dr. Welsh had 
succeeded so remarkably in procuring funds — thanks 
to those who have been so liberal since, the merchant 
princes of Glasgow ! — that besides the ordinary theo- 
logical chairs, there were to be chairs of Natural 
Science, Logic, and Moral Philosophy, all demanded 
by the peculiar necessities of the times, I could not 

vol. n. E E 

41 8 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1866. 

help feeling that now was the time for advancing a 
step farther, and on the spur of the moment was led 
to write to my noble friend Dr. Gordon, the Convener 
of the Indian Foreign Missions, to the effect, that 
surely this was the time and occasion for setting up a 
chair for Missions — in short, a Missionary Professor- 
ship ; that as the Free Church in her General Assembly 
had started as a missionary church, her New College 
should start as a missionary college. On my second 
return from India I talked of the subject to various in- 
fluential men in the Church, amongst others to the late 
Dr. Cunningham, who approved highly of the object ; 
but even he did not think the time was ripe for it. 
Crossing the Atlantic, I was wont to talk of it much 
to our friends in America ; and there was one Synod 
of the Presbyterian Church there that agreed to instruct 
its professor of theology to make this a distinct sub- 
ject of his prelections, namely to lecture on E vangelistic 
Theology ; and that is the only lectureship of the kind 
that I know of. On my last return from India I felt 
intensely, looking at the state of the country generally, 
that there was still much need of such a professorship, 
and perhaps the more need, because the world is 
more agitated and restless than ever, and young men 
more flighty, because of the multitude of secular open- 
ings in every direction. " 

An endowment of £10,000 was at once supplied 
for the chair by men of various evangelical Churches. 
"When the General Assembly of 1867, with whom the 
appointment of the first professor rested, could not 
ngree as to which of two experienced missionaries, 
from Calcutta and Bombay, should be appointed to it, 
Dr. Duff was most unwillingly compelled to accept the 
appointment by the unanimous call of his Church. 
The donors, while sharing his enthusiasm, had desired 
to honour him by calling the chair by his name. This 


at least he prevented. They secured their personal 
as well as missionary object far more effectually, as they 
and he thought, by stipulating only that the professor- 
ship should be of the status, and be devoted to the 
subjects his irresistible statement of which had led 
them to supply the capital of the endowment. Other- 
wise the money was made over unconditionally to the 
General Assembly, and by Dr. Duff as the representa- 
tive of the donors — of whom he himself was one — 
without legal document and so accepted by the Assem- 
bly in the act legislatively creating the professorship, 
" with consent of a majority of presbyteries." 

Dr. Duff was so jealous, in his Master's cause, of 
attempts made by a few ministers and professors to 
minimise the chair as novel to or inconsistent with the 
theological course of Protestant — and up to his own 
time non-missionary Churches — that immediately be- 
fore the meeting of that General Assembly he thus took 
care to secure the deliberate co-operation and formal 
consent of the donors. All have survived him, and 
their strong opinions in favour of the continuance of 
the chair as he devised it are known to his Church. 
These letters to the largest of the donors, H. M. Mathe- 
son, Esq., have been submitted to us by that generous 
elder of the Presbyterian Church of England. 

"17th May, 1867. 

"My Dear Me. Matheson, — . . As regards the mis- 
sionary professorship — to my own mind it is most perplexing, 
and despite all my endeavours and prayers fills me with an 
anxiety that is well nigh crushing and overwhelming. (1) I 
know not what your views are with regard to the proposal 
emanating from many quarters, that the chair should be left 
open to the appointment of a home minister as well as a 
foreign missionary. Some of the contributors, I know, would 
decidedly object to this, except in a case, not likely I hope ever 
to arise, viz., the Church's declaring that, among all her foreign 

420 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1867. 

missionaries, retired or in the field, there was not one 
reasonably competent to fill it. And (2) I know not what your 
views are with reference to another proposal, which has 
gained extensive favour, viz., that, after the first appointment, 
it would be left open to make all subsequent ones only tempo- 
rary, or for a few years — thus reducing the professorship to a 
lectureship, and depriving the occupant of the chair of that 
accumulating influence over students and others which the 
status of a professor and long experience undoubtedly give. 
Some of the contributors, I know, would object to such an 
innovation in the case of the missionary chair. And I confess 
it is altogether different from my own understanding of the 
subject when applying to parties for contributions. Now if 
the Church were to sanction either or both of these proposals, 
and any of the contributors were to object, and decline to give 
their moneys unless the proposals were set aside, you can see 
what a dilemma we should be in, and how harassing such a 
dilemma to my own mind. 

20th May. — " I have no words wherewith to express my in- 
debtedness to you for the relief which your letter, received 
this morning, has afforded to my sorely burdened spirit. My 
own trust, all along, has been in a good and gracious God. I 
could not but believe that the cause was His ; and I had some- 
thing of an assurance that, if so, He would not suffer it, in 
the end, to be wholly defeated. And yet, in spite of all this 
I could not, in the hour of nature's weakness, amid apparently 
insuperable difficulties, help being filled with anxieties, and 
that too in very proportion to the greatness and goodness of 
the cause which seemed on the verge of shipwreck. You may 
judge then of the relief which such a letter as yours at once 
afforded me. I could not help falling down on my knees to 
thank God for it ; and the very first words which came into 
mind were literally these : ' thou of little faith, wherefore 
didst thou doubt ? ' In the course of my own strangely 
chequered life I have had so many palpable answers to prayer, 
that I now feel deeply under a sense of the sin and shame of 
having, for a moment, given way to unbelieving doubts at all 
in connection with a cause that so vitally concerns the honour 
and cause of the adorable Saviour. 

2bth May. — " I have to thank you for your last kind note ; 
but delayed replying to it till I could report definitely on the 


two points previously alluded to. Having now seen Candlish, 
Buchanan and other leaders, I am warranted to say that all 
are of one mind on the subject ; and that, in some suitable 
way, provision will be made to ensure in all time coming the 
appointment of an experienced foreign missionary to the chair, 
and that it shall be a professorship for life. All this I have 
now reason to believe will be satisfactorily secured. . . As 
it is, all, I find, are hearty in carrying it out ; and for the most 
part according to the expressed wishes of the contributors. 
There is therefore now no occasion, I am happy to say, for 
your coming to Edinburgh. 

27th May. — "To-day the professorship affair came on. The 
two points were conceded, the election was made, and, to my 
own surprise, I am now the professor ! Oh, for grace to 
guide, direct and uphold me ! 

" Were it not for your timely interposition it is impossible 
that the matter could have been concluded as it has been. 
To you, therefore, under God I feel pre-eminently indebted, 
though the cause is not mine but the Lord Jesus Christ's. 
Being wearied I can say no more now, having been out from 
8 a.m. to 5 p.m." 

One circumstance which reconciled Dr. Duff to the 
toil of not only preparing lectures for the chair, but 
of delivering them in the three colleges, in Edinburgh, 
Glasgow and Aberdeen, every winter, was this, that he 
saved the whole salary for the foundation of the second 
portion of his most catholic project, the Missionary 
Institute. For he refused to touch any income as 
professor, or as convener of the Foreign Missions 
Committee, being content with the modest revenue 
from the Duff Missionary Fund. The bulk of that, 
even, he used to give away on the rule of systematic 
beneficence, of which he had always been the eloquent 
advocate. The Institute, as described by himself in 
his inaugural lecture to the students on the 7th 
November, 1867, still remains to be established by 
the ministers, elders, and members of the evangelical 
Churches who, under Lord Polwarth, have recently 

4 2 2 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1867. 

drafted its constitution as the best memorial of him. 
The Missionary Quarterly, apart from the denomina- 
tional or official record of each church and society, lie 
did not live to see. Planned under the editorship of 
Canon Tristram, with promises of assistance from a 
most competent literary and missionary staff repre- 
senting all the Churches, the much desired Quarterly 
does not seem to have found catholicity enough at 
home for its vigorous support. But in the East the 
Indian Evangelical Review, a quarterly journal of mis- 
sionary thought and effort, has for seven years done 
well for all the Church catholic abroad the work which 
is far more needed by the Church divided at home. 

But though the Institute and the Quarterly still 
await Christian statesmanship in Great Britain, like 
the united college which he proposed in 1832 in Cal- 
cutta, and charity like his own to establish them, he 
took care that the professorship, of which he was 
himself one of the founders, should not be tampered 
with when he could no longer guard their rights. The 
Assembly having legislatively created the professor- 
ship, he did not rest until the same supreme court 
of his Church in the same way made attendance on the 
lectures in evangelistic theology part of the course 
essential for licence and ordination. When the present 
writer was one of the Assembly's commissioners for 
the quinquennial visitation of the New College, Dr. Duff 
prepared a scheme for the development of the chair, so, 
as to enable it to cover the whole subject of com- 
parative religion, or the science of religion, or the 
relation of the faiths of the non-Christian world to 
the Divine revelation of God in Christ. This, indeed, 
he had sketched in his inaugural lecture as the fourth 
of the nine parts of a collegiate course of evangel- 
istic theology. Honoured to be the first of the Re- 
formed Churches to make theology in its relation to 


the creeds and cults of heathendom a compulsory 
part of its eight years training of students of divinity, 
the Free Church of Scotland has the opportunity of 
making its academic course still more complete in 
the appointment of Dr. Duff's successor in the chair. 




Missions on the Hortatory Method. — David's Example and Syste- 
matic Beneficence. — The Gonds of Central India. — Sir Richard 
Temple and Stephen Hislop. — The Santals of the Bengal Up- 
lands. — Narayan Sheshadri's Rural Mission. — Bethel and Sir 
Sal ar Jung. — Mission Buildings and Salaries. — Correspondence 
with Lord Northbrook on English Education. — United Christian 
College of Madras. — Dr. DafF at the Church Mission's Com- 
mittee. — The Communion of Saints and Missionary Faith. — The 
Anglo-Indian Christian Union. — Letter from Lord Lawrence. — 
Drs. Duff and Lumsden visit the Lebanon. — Relation of the 
Mission to the Presbyterian Board of the United States. — Exten- 
sion of Kaffrarian Mission to the Transkei Country. — Natal 
Missions and Sir Peregrine Maitland. — James Allison. — Dr. Dutf 
and the Aberdeen Family. — A Bright Career. — Gordon Memorial 
Mission to the Zulus. — Dr. Livingstone's Zambesi Project. — Dis- 
covers Lake Nyassa. — His Letters to the Free Church. — Rev. 
Dr. Stewart's Proposal. — Dr. Duff Launches the Livingstonia 
Expedition in 1875. — His Heroic Wish in 1877. — The Unconscious 
Founder of the New Hebrides Mission. — Dr. William Syming- 
ton's Diary. — The Immediate Fruit of Forty-nine Years of Mis- 
sionary Work. 

Not only as professor of Evangelistic Theology, but 
as superintendent or, so far as Presbyterian parity 
allowed, director of the Foreign Missions of his 
Church, Dr. Duff had the care of all the churches 
till the day of his death. None the less was he the 
adviser, referee, and fellow-helper of the other mis- 
sionary agencies of Great Britain and America. His 
third of a century's experience of India, what he had 
learned in his careful tour of inspection in Africa, his 


personal study of both Europe and America, were 
henceforth all concentrated on one point — the consoli- 
dation and extension of the Missions. For this end 
he ever sought to perfect the internal organization 
of his own Church, which he had created at what an 
expenditure of splendid toil we have told. During 
the two years 1865 and 1866, the records of his office 
and of the General Assembly, and the newspapers of 
the day, show that he held conferences with the minis- 
ters, office-bearers and collectors of each congrega- 
tion and presbytery over a large part of Scotland, 
informing, stimulating and often filling them with an 
enthusiasm like his own. Nothing was too humble, 
nothing too wearisome for one already sixty years of 
age, if only the great cause could be advanced. To 
him a conference meant not a quiet talk but a burning 
exposition. As in 1866 the ordinary home income 
reached an annual average of £16,000, and the fees 
and grants-in-aid united with the subscriptions of 
Christian people abroad to double that, he felt that the 
time had come for new missions. 

He had told the General Assembly of 1865, in his 
first report, that their committee were " not only in- 
tensely anxious to strengthen their stakes, but also 
greatly to lengthen their cords. This can be done in 
either, or both, of two ways — either by giving larger 
scope and development to existing operations within 
the fields already chosen, or by entering on entirely 
new fields and there breaking up wholly new ground. 
For the active prosecution of either, or both, of these 
courses, your committee are prepared, to whatever 
extent this venerable Assembly may approve, or the 
Church at large may supply the necessary means. . , 
Our plan never was intended to be — and, in point of 
fact, never actually was — a narrow, one-sided, fixed, 
exclusive plan; but, on the contrary, in its original 

426 LIFE OP Dtt. DUFF. i8 6 7- 

conception, a broad, all-comprehending plan; only, its 
breadth and comprehension were to be gradually 
evolved or unfolded from a rudimental germ — requiring 
years of growth to exhibit its real nature and design, 
and whole generations for reaping the full harvest 
of its ripened fruits. From the very outset the two 
kindred and reciprocally auxiliary processes of training 
the young for varied future usefulness, and addressing 
the adults, through whatever lingual medium might be 
found most effective in reaching: their understandings 
and their hearts, were simultaneously carried on, side 
by side." 

But he had provided for the development of the 
colleges through their local support, leaving the 
whole increased subscriptions of his Church thence- 
forth to go to " addressing the adults " in the rural 
districts of India, and in the barbarous lands of Africa 
and Oceania. To the General Assembly of 1867, in 
an oration full of his old fire, he thus commended and 
illustrated the principle on which he had acted all 
his life and sought to support his whole missionary 
advance : 

" The Systematic Beneficence Society is based on 
the grand principle of holding ourselves responsible 
to God for all that we have, and that it is our bounden 
duty to devote a large portion of the income which He 
may be pleased to give us directly to His cause and 
for His glory. It does seem strange that the great 
principle which lies at the root of the Beneficence 
Societ}^ — the grand New Testament principle, the 
principle of being stewards of God's bounties — should 
be looked upon by many in these days as if it were a 
novelty. Why, it is a principle which is at least three 
thousand years old. We have the grandest exemplifi- 
cation of it in the history of David in First Chronicles 
xxix. In that chapter we are told how David poured 


out of Lis treasury gold and silver and precious 
stones ; and when he had set the example which he 
did, he appealed to his nobles, and they liberally 
responded. Example is better than precept, and what 
took place in David's case was just what might have 
been expected. What was even more remarkable than 
the liberality displayed, was the willingness of heart 
which was shown. In fact, the whole principle of the 
Systematic Beneficence Society was expounded and 
acted out by David. If David's principle was acted 
upon now, instead of the subscriptions from the whole 
of our members to the Foreign Missions being four- 
fifths of a farthing for a week, it would be four-fifths 
of a shilling, and would not stop even there. On one 
occasion, when in Calcutta, I received a letter from an 
officer who had served in the Sindh campaign. He 
had received between three thousand and four thousand 
rupees as his share of the prize money. I had seen 
him only once, when he happened to be passing through 
Calcutta. Having taken him to visit our Institution, 
he was greatly struck with it. In that letter he sent 
what he called a tithe of his prize money, amounting 
to upwards of three hundred rupees, as a thank-offering 
to God. I thanked him warmly for his liberality ; and 
in doing so happened to refer to the 29th chapter of 
Chronicles and 14th verse, stating that it was a blessed 
thing to have the means of giving, but that it was 
still more blessed when God was graciously pleased to 
give us the disposition to part with these means. 
Some two or three weeks afterwards I received a 
second letter from the same officer, containing the 
whole of the rupees which he had received for his 
prize money, accompanied with the remark, ' I had 
often read that chapter and that passage, but it had 
never struck me in that light before ; and I thank God 
for putting it into my heart to do as I have done.' 

428 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1869. 

lie then desired me to acknowledge the receipt of the 
sum in a particular newspaper, but stated that I was 
not to mention his name, but to say that it was from 
1 Chronicles xxix. 14. That was not all. When the 
time arrived that he was able to retire upon a pension, 
instead of coming home, as many do, to indulge them- 
selves in luxurious ease and idleness, he entered as a 
volunteer in the service of his Lord, and became a 
practical missionary in India, for which his knowledge 
of the vernacular aud his other qualifications emi- 
nently qualified him ; and I can assure this Assembly 
that it was a noble work that he rendered. He is, 
alas ! no more ; but c his works do follow him.' " 

The first new mission which Dr. Duff helped into 
existence was to the Gronds of Central India. From 
Nagpore Stephen Hislop had spent many a week 
among them in their hilly fastnesses, studying their 
language, taking down their almost Biblical traditions, 
and telling them of Him to whom their dim legends 
pointed, the Desire of all nations. When Sir Richard 
Temple was sent by Lord Canning to rescue the 
Central Provinces from misrule, Hislop became his 
guide and friend. The fruit of the missionary's re- 
searches appeared in one of the most valuable contri- 
butions to the literature of so-called pre-historic man, 
his " Papers relating to the Aboriginal Tribes of the 
Central Provinces." As the disciple of John Lawrence 
Sir R. Temple felt a keen interest in the millions of 
the rude tribes entrusted to him. On his first furlough 
thereafter, in August, 1865, he spent some days with 
Dr. Duff in Edinburgh, who acted as his guide over 
the city and — as he confessed to us with a twinkle — 
took him thrice in one day to long Scotch services. 
The two carefully discussed the subject of a mission 
to the Gonds, Mr. Hislop's papers on whom had just 
appeared. The result was the despatch of Mr. Dawson, 


from the Nagpore staff, with the native cateehist 
Hardie, to Chindwara, as a centre, a healthy station 
in the Gond uplands of Deogurh. Gondee has been 
reduced to writing, and portions of Scripture have 
appeared in the language. Dr. Duff would fain have 
sent a missionary to the Sutnamees, the aboriginal 
sect of theistic worshippers of the "pure name" of God 
in the east of the Central Provinces, but that field was 
soon after supplied by the Germans. 

Ever since, in 1862, he had wandered over the forest 
land of the simple Santals, a hundred and fifty miles 
to the north of the rural missions in Hooghly and 
Bard wan, he had determined to plant a mission among 
that section of the people who were not cared for by the 
Church Missionary Society along the south bank of the 
Ganges, and by the Baptists on the Orissa and Behar 
sides. The Rev. J. D. Don and Dr. M. Mitchell were 
enabled by him to begin operations at Pachumba in 
1869, when the chord line of the East Indian Railway 
opened up the south country, skirted by the grand 
trunk road, and under the shadow of the Jain moun- 
tain of Parisnath. There, under three Scottish mis- 
sionaries, medical, evangelistic and teaching, in San- 
talee, Hindee and Bengalee, a staff of convert-cate- 
chists has been formed and a living native church 
created. The Santals, whom official neglect, toler- 
ating the oppression of Bengalee usurers, drove into 
rebellion in 1855, are coming over in hundreds to 
the various Churches, and promise to become a Chris- 
tian people in a few generations. When ritualistic 
sacerdotalism for a time introduced discord into the 
neighbouring Church of the Kols of Chota Nagpore, 
evangelized by the Lutheran missionaries sent out 
by Pastor Gossner, the proposal was made to Dr. 
Duff that he should enter on a portion of the 

43° LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 187 1. 

But though, his own province, Bengal, enjoyed the 
least of Dr. Duff's fostering care, from Bombay the 
Rev. Narayan Sheshadri, the first educated Brahman 
who had joined the Church of Western India, went 
boldly forth to evangelize his peasant countrymen and 
the outcast tribes in the villages around Brahmanical 
Indapoor, to the south of Poona, and in the country 
of the Nizam, of which Jalna is a British cantonment. 
As the catechumens around Jalna increased into a large 
community, they became perplexed by the denial of 
hereditary rights in the soil, and by the impossibility in 
a native principality of enjoying such sanitary and self- 
administering institutions as Christianity recommends. 
A new society had sprung to life from among the cor- 
ruption of the old, but to have fair play it must have 
standing ground of its own. Accordingly the Chris- 
tian Brahman applied to the Arab prime minister of 
the Muhammadan Nizam of Hyderabad to grant a site 
to the Hindoo and outcast cultivators and artisans 
who had become Christ's. The reply was the conces- 
sion of land rent-free for twenty-five years. There, 
under the protection of the Jalna cantonment, three 
miles distant, Narayan Sheshadri has made his village 
at once a model and a guarantee of what India will 
yet become. The pretty stone church, named Bethel, 
— Hebrew rather than Marathee, — stands in the centre 
of a square, on either of two sides of which are the 
public institutions of the young community : manse, 
schools, hospital, serai, market, smithy, wells. Within 
a radius of ninety miles are ten large towns, where, 
and in the intervening country, the catechists of Bethel 
evangelize their countrymen. The light has sinned 
forth into the adjoining province of Berar, penetrated 
by the Bombay and Calcutta railway at this end as the 
Santal country is at the other. No part of his duty 
gave Dr. Duff greater delight than that of assisting 


in such an experiment as tliis, illustrating at once the 
principles of his system and supplying to all India an 
example for imitation. 

The expansion of the Missions forced on Dr. Duff 
the necessity of making a special appeal to the country 
for a fund to build houses for the missionaries, and 
substantial schools, in Africa as well as in India, where 
these did not exist. The task of raising £50,000 for 
this purpose was almost repulsive to him with his 
other engagements. But after a deliberate and per- 
sistent fashion he set himself to it. He conducted a 
correspondence on the subject which it is even now 
almost appalling to read. He was zealously aided by 
members of the committee, and the result was success. 
The greater part of the money was paid in a few years, 
and has now been expended in manses, preaching halls, 
and schools which place the missionary in the heart of 
his work, and, for the first time in many instances, 
surround him by the same sanitary advantages as his 
countrymen enjoy in the European quarters of Cal- 
cutta, Bombay and Madras. Even before this, the rise 
of prices in these cities and throughout India, which 
had begun in the Crimean and culminated in the 
United States war, compelled the committee to revise 
the whole scale of salaries. To this, as one who had 
ever denied himself and who was beginning to live not 
a little in the past, he was reluctant to turn. He 
keenly felt the danger of robbing the missionary's life 
of its generally realized ideal of self-sacrifice for Him 
who spared not Himself, and so of attracting to the 
grandest of careers the meanest of men — the merely 
professional missionary. Few though they were, he 
had seen such failures in the Lord of the harvest's 
field. But duty prevailed, and he set about the work 
with business-like comprehensiveness. After a con- 
ference of conveners and secretaries, sitting in Edin- 

43 2 klFE OF DR. DUFF. 1872. 

burgh, had taken evidence and discussed the whole 
subject of missionary economics, he consented that 
the committee should be asked to sanction an increase 
somewhat proportioned to the rise of prices. And 
so, while as convener he left behind him a well- 
organized missionary staff, he and his committee went 
no further than the standard of such a subsistence 
allowance as, by keeping off family care and pecuniary 
worry, should permit the absorption of the whole man 
in the divine work. 

When, in 1872, Lord Northbrook was designated 
Governor-General, in succession to Lord Mayo whose 
assassination called forth from Dr. Duff a warm eulogy 
of that Viceroy, the missionary made a representa- 
tion to his old friend on the subject of the education 
despatch of 1854. After a year's experience of his 
high office, his Excellency thus addressed Dr. Duff: 

"Government House, Calcutta, January S]st, 1873. 

"Dkar Dr. Duff, — As you were so good as to communicate 
with, me before I left England through Mr. [now Lord] 
Kinnaird, I feel no hesitation in sending you the enclosed copy 
of a resolution upon education which, will be issued to morrow, 
and which is the first expression of my views upon educational 
questions. Matters have been rather complicated here by some 
resolutions of the Government of India issued in 1869, which 
went, in my opinion, too far in the direction of withdrawing 
Government support from the English colleges, and created 
great alarm among the educated natives. . . I have tried, 
while supporting Mr. [now Sir George] Campbell as I am 
bound to do, especially for his efforts to spread education 
among the people, and to give a more practical turn to it, 
to satisfy our native friends that we are no enemies to high 
English education ; and, in so doing, I have taken the oppor- 
tunity to repeat the principles laid down in 1851, especially the 
position to be held by Sanskrit in the educational scheme. . . 

" I have had two very interesting conversations with Dr. 
Wilson at Bombay. My impression is that there is much room 


for improvement in the scheme for degrees at the Calcutta 
University, and in the class-books and subjects for the Univer- 
sity examinations, and I have communicated with the Syndicate 
who have appointed a committee to inquire into the subject. 
Another and more serious question has arisen from some 
particulars which Mr. Murdoch (the secretary in India of the 
Christian Vernacular Education Society) has brought forward 
as to the contents of some of the vernacular class-books in the 
Government schools in Madras. It seemed to me to be very 
undesirable to direct public attention to this. The manner in 
which I shall deal with it is to direct an inquiry into the gene- 
ral suitability of the books used in Government schools, and 
to communicate confidentially with the different Governments, 
requesting them to take the opportunity of expurgating the 
vernacular school books, if necessary, by the removal of any 
gross passages. — I am, 

Yours very sincerely, 


"Patterdale, Penrith, 30th April, 1873. 

"Dear Lord Northbrook, — I cannot sufficiently express 
my thanks to your Lordship for writing to me as you have 
done, amid your heavy cares and anxieties, on the subject of 
your educatioual policy. . . Soon after the letter was put 
into my hands, with the Government resolution on education, 
a telegram from India announced that your Lordship had 
delivered a great speech on the subject of education to the 
Convocation of the Calcutta University. 

" Let me in a single sentence say that I have read the 
Government resolution and your Lordship's speech not only 
with unfeigned but unmingled delight and admiration. In 
the general views expressed in them — views characterized as 
much by their wisdom and practical prudence as by their large- 
ness, comprehensiveness, generosity and liberality — I entirely 
concur. Indeed, there is scarcely a syllable in either which I 
could wish to see altered ; and as a friend of India, I do feel 
cordially grateful to your Lordship for so noble an exposition 
and so clear an enforcement of great and enlightened principles, 
such as those so distinctly laid down in the great Educational 
Despatch of 1854, for the carrying out of which in its full in- 
tegrity I have always strenuously contended. The proposed 

VOL. II. F I' 

434 LIFE ° F DR. DUFF. 1873. 

mode also of dealing with the question raised by Mr. Murdoch 
about vernacular class-books and class or text-books, generally 
appears to me eminently judicious. Your Lordship will kindly 
excuse me for presuming to write in this way, but I cannot 
help it, as it is the joint utterance of head and heart. . . • 
Rejoicing in the brilliant inauguration of your Lordship's 
Indian career, and praying that the God of Providence may 
guide, direct and sustain you under the tremendous responsi- 
bilities of your exalted office, — I remain, 

Very gratefully and sincerely yours, 

"Alexander Duff." 

If Lord Northbrook's views had continued to pre- 
vail, like those of all his predecessors, back to Lord 
William Bentinck's time — save Lord Auckland — there 
could not have arisen those causes of complaint which 
have ever since marked the hostility of the educational 
departments in India to the despatch, and which led 
Lord Lawrence to unite with the missionary societies in 
proposals for a protest to the Secretary of State for 
India. This action of the Governor-General in favour 
of the catholic principles of 1854, alike in the higher 
and in primary education, was followed by a most satis- 
factory development of the Institution at Madras. In 
1832 Dr. Duff and the Calcutta Missionary Conference 
had in vain proposed to their Churches at home to 
co-operate in the extension of the then infant Institu- 
tion as a united Christian college, to train students 
for all the Missions. In 1874 he joyfully received a 
similar project from Madras for the union of the Free 
Church, Church Missionary and Wesleyan Societies in 
the development of its Institution into one well-equip- 
ped and catholic Christian college for all Southern 
India. The five years' experiment has proved so suc- 
cessful an illustration of evangelical unity and educa- 
tional efficiency that the college is likely to be perma- 
nently placed under a joint board, representing not 


only these Churches, but the Established Church of 

The essential unity of all evangelical Christians Dr. 
Duff never rejoiced to exemplify more than along with 
the Church Missionary Society. He happened to be 
in London on the 5th January, 1869, when the general 
committee had met for the solemn duty of sending 
forth three experienced missionaries and ministers to 
India. These were Mr. (now Bishop) French ; the 
late Rev. J. W. Knott, who resigned a rich living for 
a missionary's grave ; and Dr. Dyson, of the Cathedral 
Mission College, Calcutta. Good old Mr. Venn was 
still secretary. Dr. Kay was then fresh from the 
learned retreat of Bishops' College on the Hooghly. 
General Lake represented the Christian soldier-poli- 
ticals of the school of the Lawrences. The Maharaja 
Dhuleep Singh was there to join in supplications for the 
college to be founded for the training of his country- 
men to be evangelists, pastors and teachers, in the 
land of which he was born to be king. Bishop Smith, 
of China, who presided, closed the proceedings in 
words like these : " We have been greatly favoured 
this day with the presence of so many veterans of the 
missionary work to say farewell to our brethren, and 
we have been delighted with the heart-stirring address 
and missionary fire of the c old man eloquent.' The 
last time Dr. Duff and I met together was when he 
bowed the knee with me in my private study at Hong 
Kong, and offered prayer for us, for we also need sus- 
taining grace as well as our brethren. Here I fi ud him 
to-day giving us words of encouragement. Advanced 
as he is on the stage of life, it is an unexpected plea- 
sure to see him again ; and we thank God that we 
have been permitted to listen to him. It is a blessing 
to meet on occasions such as these, to find that the 
old missionary fire is not extinct, and to know that 

436 life of dr. duff. 1869. 

the good work is prospering. May it go on until the 
whole earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory 
of the Lbra." 

Dr. Duff, in an impromptu utterance, had thus 
burst forth under the impulse of fervid affection and 
of gratitude that not the young and untried but the 
ablest ministers in England were going up to the high 
places of the field : 

"The communion of saints is a blessed and glorious ex- 
pression. Ever since I have known Christ, and believed in 
Christ for salvation, I have always felt that there is a tie 
peculiarly binding on the Church of Christ, whatever may be 
the form of government. Accordingly, I have always felt it 
an unspeakable privilege to be permitted not only to sympa- 
thise, but to co-operate in every possible way, with all who 
love Christ in sincerity and in truth, and will be co-heirs with 
Him in the glory to be revealed, and rejoice with Him for ever 
and ever, I cannot understand the grounds of separation 
between men who are living in the bonds of Christ. . . We 
do not stand alone. If we did, we should be hopeless. We 
stand very much in the position of Elijah on Mount Carmel. 
He stood alone in one sense : he was confronted with four 
hundred and fifty priests of Baal ; but he felt that he was not 
alone — that he had one greater and mightier than all that 
were against him, and his great prayer was to the God of 
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, that He might interpose and 
cause it to be seen and felt that there was a God in Israel, 
that he was His servant to do these things according to His 
word. He said, ' Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people 
may know that Thou art the Lord/ That is our position. 
We must do all that he did. He prepared the altar and the 
sacrifice, and said, 'I have done all that I can; but if I had 
not done this, how could I look up and pray ? Having done 
that in accordance with God's word, I can look up and pray/ 
Let us, then, enter on the mighty work in this spirit, and 
while we confront the Himalayan masses of superstition and 
idolatry, let us first, the spirit of Elijah animating us, look up 
and say, ' God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob.' Yes, 


we as Christians can do still more. We can say, ' God, the 
Father of our Lord Jesus, do Thou interpose in behalf of that 
great name, and send forth Thy Holy Spirit to accompany our 
efforts in this work ; ' and the day will come when the fire 
shall descend and burn up the wood and the stones, and the 
mountain masses of obstacles, and consume them, and turn 
spiritual death into life. Yes, the day will come. But are we 
doing our part ? are we doing all that we can ? The individual 
missionary abroad may be doing all that he can as a mission- 
ary ; but are the communities that send him forth doing all 
that they ought to do ? If not, I feel intensely you have no 
warrant, no right to pray for the blessing of God. From what 
I am constantly reading in my own country, I see that we are 
making a mere mock in regard to Missions ; that we are simp'y 
playing at Missions, and are not doing the proper thing at all 
in this great country. If we go to war against a great city 
like Sebastopol — if we want to penetrate into the centre of 
Abyssinia — what do we do ? We take the best and most 
skilful and experienced of our brave generals, and our best 
officers and troops, and we send supplies in such abundance 
that there can be no want. If we wish to be successful we 
must use the means which are adapted to secure success. 
Now I feel intensely that I am humbled, that we as a people, 
as Churches and communities, are content with doing just a 
little, as showing some recognition of a duty, but not putting 
forth our power and energy, as if we were in earnest, and 
sending out the ablest and most skiful of our men. We are 
but trifling with the whole subject. The world is to be evan- 
gelized. We have eight hundred millions of people to be 
evangelized. Here, in Great Britain, we have one minister for 
every thousand of inhabitants, and yet we are content to send 
out one for two millions of people, and in China I do not sup- 
pose there is one for three millions, taking all the societies 
together. Would we desire to know what we ought to do ? 
Let us look to the Church at Antioch. When God had a great 
work to do among the Gentiles, what did He do ? Here is the 
Church at Antioch, with Barnabas and Simeon, Lucius of 
Cyrene, and other men of character, but not equal to Paul and 
Barnabas. Does the Holy Ghost say that Paul and Barnabas, 
having been the founders of the Church, were indispensable 
for its prosperity, and you must keep them — Lucius and the 

43$ LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1870. 

others will not be so much missed : send them to do the work ? 
No ; He says, ' Separate me Barnabas and Paul ; ' the other 
men can carry on the quieter work, and fight the battle with 
heathenism if it be needed; the most able and skilled men 
must go forth on the mighty enterprise — ' Separate me Barna- 
bas and Paul/ Excuse me for saying this. In this day's 
meeting, which gladdens my own heart, I see something of 
this kind of process beginning. We do not want all the ablest 
men in this country to engage in the enterprise, but cannot 
some of them be spared as leaders of the younger ones ? We 
need all the practical wisdom which the world contains to 
guide us and direct us in the midst of the perplexities which 
beset us in such fields as India and China. Difficulties are 
increasing every day, and there are new difficulties arising that 
will require all the skill and wisdom of the most practical men 
we possess, and such men will, ere long, come forward with 
a power and voice which shall make themselves felt. It makes 
my heart rejoice to think that Oxford can send forth two of 
its Fellows ; that English parishes can spare two able and 
useful men to go forth in the name of the Lord. I see in this 
the beginning of a better state of things, and I have no doubt 
that the example will have the effect of stirring up and stimu- 
lating others to do likewise, and that some of the mightiest 
names among us will go forth. It will not do to say we should 
be satisfied with labourers only; why should not some of the 
Church's dignitaries — why should not some of our bishops, 
if they be the successors of the apostles, go forth, and set an 
example, the value of which the whole world would acknow- 
ledge ? I wonder that a man who is prominent before the 
world for his position and rank does not surrender that, and 
go forth on a mission of philanthropy. I wonder at it. Some 
would be ready to follow. But at all events they would say, 
Here is sincerity, here is devotedness ; and it will no longer 
be said, ' You are the men who are paid for loving the souls 
of men.' I will not speak merely of Church dignitaries, but 
of other dignitaries. Peers of the realm can go to India to 
hunt tigers, and why cannot they go to save the souls of men ? 
Have we come to this, that it shall be beneath them, and 
beneath the dignity of men in civil life, to go forth on such an 
errand ? The eternal Son of God appears on earth that He 
may work out for us an everlasting redemption. It was not 


beneath Him to seek and to save that which was lost, and will 
you tell me that it is beneath the dignity of a duke, or an 
Archbishop of Canterbury, to go into heathen realms to save 
a lost creature ? " 

This recalled the Exetei Hall appeals of 1837. 
Again, soon after, he gave another proof of his true 
catholicity in writing, for the Indian Female Evange- 
list, conducted by the Church of England Society for 
Female Education in the East, an elaborate series of 
papers on Indian Womanhood from the Vedic age to 
the present time. 

Dr. Duffs philanthropic and spiritual efforts for 
the good of Europeans and Eurasians in India, con- 
tinued from his first years in Calcutta, found an or- 
ganized and permanent agency in the Anglo-Indian 
Christian Union, or Evangelization Society as it is now 
called. When in Calcutta he had been the active 
chairman of a society for ameliorating the temporal 
condition of the people, he had so early as 1 841 helped 
to found a temperance society, he frequently lectured 
to the soldiers at Dum Dum and elsewhere on the 
subject, and he was most earnest in that movement 
for a sailors' home which ended in Lord Lawrence 
presenting the valuable site of the appropriate build- 
ing on the Strand of Calcutta. Just before his return 
to Edinburgh in 1864, the Anglo-Indians who happened 
to be present at the General Assembly of that year, 
led by Dr. K. MacQueen, united to send out a minister 
to the Scottish teaplanters who are turning the 
malarious wilds of Cachar and Assam into smiling 
gardens. The society was discouraged by the unfit- 
ness of the first instruments, but in 1870 Dr. Duff 
gave it new life. The increase of tea and indigo culti- 
vation, of cotton and jute factories, of railways, of the 
British army and subordinate civil service, had, since 
the Mutiny, raised the European and Eurasian Chris- 

44° LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1870. 

tians in India to a number little short of the quarter 
of a million. For these the Government chaplains and 
the few voluntary churches in the great cities and 
missionary services elsewhere had long been inade- 
quate. The £170,000 spent on the ecclesiastical 
establishment of 3 bishops and 153 chaplains, and in 
grants to Romish priests who are generally foreign 
Jesuits ignorant of the language of the Irish soldiers, 
might have been — ought now to be — applied in a man- 
ner both more equitable and more effective for its end 
in a country where vast revenues are annually alienated 
in support of Hindoo shrines and Muhammadan mos- 
ques. As it is there are British regiments without 
spiritual services, while chaplains are congested in the 
great cities for the benefit of wealthy congregations who 
are able and willing to supply themselves. The Church 
of England, led by good Bishop Wilson, had created 
an Additional Clergy Society which supplied ministers 
to destitute military and civil stations aided by state 
grants. In Madras the Colonial and Continental 
Church Society tried to fill the breach. But after 
the sudden removal by death of Dr. Cotton, who was 
like Duff himself the bishop of good men of every 
Church, not only the eclesiastical establishment but 
the aided societies became the instruments of the 
weakest form of Anglican sacerdotalism. The sacra- 
mentarianism of the bishops and chaplains sent out 
by successive Secretaries of State was not atoned 
for by grace like Keble's, or learning like Dr. Pusey's, 
or wit like Bishop Wilberforce's. Gradually in 
many places officers forsook the Church of England 
services, while the earnest soldiers among the troops 
marched to church murmured at the wrong done to 
the conscience. Many of the evangelical members of 
all the churches united in demanding reform. 

Id 1 869, after the five years' administration of Lord 


Lawrence, this took the form at Simla of a Union 
Church based on the reformed confession, which Dr. 
M. Mitchell organized. Next year Dr. Duff, as pre- 
sident of the Anglo- Indian Christian Union, selected 
the Rev. John Fordyce and sent him out as commis- 
sioner to report on the spiritual needs of the British 
and Eurasian settlers all over Northern India. Mr. 
Fordyce, after practically carrying out the zanana 
system in Calcutta, had returned to become minister 
first in Dunse and then in Cardiff. On reaching India 
he became pastor of the new Union Church at Simla 
during the hot and rainy seasons, and devoted the other 
half of each year to a visitation of the whole land from 
Peshawur to Calcutta. The railway companies, which 
had ten thousand Christian employes uncared for 
spiritually, welcomed his services. Wherever he went 
officers and soldiers sought his return, or at least the 
establishment of some permanent evangelical agency 
among them. The letters from such among Dr. Duff's 
papers are full of a pathetic significance. The new 
society gradually worked out a catholic organization. 
The districts of country — omitting, it is to be regretted, 
the tea provinces of North-eastern Bengal, where 
scattered communities of Christians are settled — were 
mapped out into seven circuits, each with a radius of 
from 200 to 300 miles, easily accessible by railway. 
While Dr. Duff, as president worked the whole from 
Edinburgh, Lord Lawrence, as patron, was active in 
London. To Mr. Fordyce the great and good Viceroy 
thus wrote on the 24th June, 1874. 

" 1 feel the full force of much which you have said 
as to the state of things in India, of the want all over 
the land of adequate religious influences. It is only 
too true that c a famine of the word of life affects most 
fatally the native population, and imperils many of our 
fellow-countrymen.' Hence, as you say, there is a 

44 2 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1870. 

double plea for more Christian work in India. I also 
fully concur in your remarks on the evil effects of the 
conduct of some of those who, while bearing the 
Christian name, have little regard for the precepts of 
that religion. All this is very sad ; but it is very 
difficult to bring to bear a practical remedy. Still, we 
must not despair. The difficulties which beset the 
subject should rather incite us to bestir ourselves and 
devise a remedy. The united efforts of Protestants of 
all Churches in the good work offer the best hope 
of success. We want men, and we want money, and 
above all we want some person of ability and zeal, 
and of some social influence, to take the lead and 
guide the helm, and so by continuous and systematic 
labour bring about the results which we so much 

In addition to the formation of union congregations 
Dr. Duff in the last year of his life saw ten agents of 
the society at work in India, six of them ordained 
ministers, and sent out Dr. Somerville, of Glasgow, and 
the Rev. C. M. Pym, rector of Cherry Burton, to 
evangelize in the cold seasons of 1874 and 1877, as 
Dr. Norman Macleod had done in 1867. Financially 
as well as ecclesiastically the Government of India 
may yet be allowed to carry out the scheme which 
Lord Mayo's Government approved of in principle, 
that of so applying the present expenditure of £170,000 
to purely military chaplains and in grants to Christian 
societies, that it may cover the whole extent of Anglo- 
Indian society, official and non-official. 

But India was the source of only half the cares and 
the labours of Dr. Duff after he left it. As convener 
of the Foreign Missions Committee of his Church, he 
established a new mission in the Lebanon, and three 
new missions in South-east Africa — in then indepen- 
dent Kaffraria, in Natal, and on Lake Nyassa; while 

JEt. 64. TOUR IN STRIA. 443 

he lived long enough to receive charge of the New- 
Hebrides stations of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. 
The Church of Scotland in 1839 sent a missionary 
expedition to Palestine, consisting of M'Cheyne and 
Drs. Black, Keith and A. Bonar, which ended in the 
establishment for a time, by Dr. Wilson, of Bombay, of 
a mission to the Jews in Damascus. When, in 1852, 
Mr. William Dickson, editor of the Children's Mission- 
ary Record, visited Syria, Dr. Duff gave him a letter 
of commendation, and the result was the formation of 
a catholic committee in Scotland for the founding 
of schools among the Druses, Maronites, and Greek 
Christians of the Lebanon. In 1870, accompanied by 
Dr. Lumsden, principal of the New College, Aberdeen, 
Dr. Duff made a second tour in Syria to examine the 
schools. The district which they traversed from Bey- 
rout, where they landed on the 11th April, stretches 
from the " entrance of Ham at h " on the north to Tyre 
on the south-west and Damascus on the south-east, 
embracing not only the range of Lebanon itself, with 
the country immediately to the south, but also Anti- 
Lebanon, and the far-reaching plain of Coele-Syria. 
This region is in extent about 100 miles by 30, and 
contains upwards of one thousand villages and ham- 
lets, with a population of half a million. The deputies 
held a conference with the missionaries of the Amer- 
ican Presbyterian Board, under whom not only a 
great college and many schools, but the Syrian 
Evangelical Church has been fostered into vigorous 
life. These brethren agreed that if the Free Church 
sent to the mountain an ordained minister, who 
should be a well-qualified educationist, they would 
cordially co-operate with him, " on the understanding 
that he do not institute a separate ecclesiastical organi- 
zation, or interfere with the doctrine or discipline of 
the existing native Evangelical Church;" an under- 

444 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1874. 

standing in the wisdom of which Dr. Duff thoroughly 
concurred, being with them desirous that the various 
congregations of converts be united in one native 
Syrian Protestant Church. 

An ordained and a medical missionary have accord- 
ingly ever since evangelized the Meten district of 
Lebanon, from the centra first of Sook, and now of 
Shweir, encouraged, like the many missionaries in that 
comparatively small territory, by the administration of 
the Christian Rustem Pasha, under the constitution se- 
cured for that portion of the unhappy Turkish empire 
by Lord Dufferin after the massacres of 1860. The for- 
mation of the first congregation has raised the question 
of the relation of the new mission to the American, 
and that will doubtless be amicably settled according 
to the catholic principle laid down by Dr. Duff in 1870. 

Having consolidated the Kaffrarian Mission, on his 
return from South Africa in 1864 Dr. Duff saw it ex- 
tended to the north across the Kei. There the centre 
of the Idutywa Kaffir reserve, up to the Bashee River, 
formed in 1874, was called by his name, Duffbank. 
Three years later the Fingoes, through Captain Blyth 
and Mr. Brownlee, officials, contributed £1,500 to 
found an evangelizing and industrial Institute after 
the model of Lovedale, and to that was given the name 
of Blythswood. With the station of Cunningham com- 
pleting the base, where there is a native congregation of 
more than two thousand Kaffirs, the Tra'.iak^i territory 
is thus being worked, in a missionary sense, up towards 
Natal. There the fruit of the great missionary's in- 
fluence is seen in three mission centres, at the capital 
Pieter-Maritzburg ; at Impolweni, fourteen miles to the 
north ; and at Gordon, within a few miles of the fron- 
tier of Zululand, now divided among thirteen feudatory 
chiefs advised and controlled by two British residents 
on the Indian political system. Natal was taken pos- 


session of, for the highest civilizing ends, by the 
missionaries of the American Board so early as 1835, 
in the midst of the Kaffir war of that year, and when 
Dingane ruled the Zulus. His massacre of the Boers 
drove out the missionaries till the British Government 
took possession of the country. That was in 1843, at 
the time when an old correspondent of Dr. Duffs was 
Governor of South Africa. Sir Peregrine Maitland 
had resigned the well-paid office of commander-in-chief 
of the Madras army rather than pass on an order com- 
pelling British officers and troops to salute Hindoo 
idols on festival days. Worthy to be a friend of 
Dun , he told the American, Grout, who was to work 
for ten years without making one convert from the 
Zulus, that he had more faith in missionaries than in 
soldiers for preventing war with barbarous tribes, 

When, long after, Dr. Duff in his wagon descended 
from the uplands of Basutoland and the heights of the 
Drakenberg upon the picturesque valleys and smiling 
plains of Natal, his heart was taken captive by Mr. 
James Allison, the highly educated son of a Peninsular 
officer. Allison was well advanced in years when he 
gave himself to the work of the Master. Commis- 
sioned by the Wesleyans, he broke new ground among 
the Griquas in 1832, and he went on pioneering till 
Duff found him settling his many converts, as an 
independent missionary, in the village of Edendale, 
which he created for them, while they paid the whole 
purchase-money by petty instalments. In 1873 Duff 
sent him to organize a similar settlement at Impol- 
weni, and there he died a few years after at the ripe 
age of seventy-three. It was a noble life, and yet not 
more noble than that of the majority of Christian 
pioneers in all our colonies, as well as in India, China, 
and the islands of the seas. His work at Maritzburg 
also was taken over by the Free Church of Scotland. 

446 LIFE OF DR. DUCT. 1874. 

When, in November, 1864, Dr. Duff went north to 
take part in the ordination of new missionaries, the 
first to welcome him to Haddo House was the Dowager 
Couutess of Aberdeen. Eight months before, the fifth 
earl, her husband, to whom, while yet Lord Haddo, 
his companionship had been sweet at Malvern, had 
been called to his rest after years of incessant labour 
for the spiritual and temporal good of all around 
him in London, Greenwich, on his own estates, and 
in Egypt, where he sought and found prolonged 
life. The Malvern intercourse resulted in a friendly 
identification of Dr. Duff with the Aberdeen family in 
all its branches, very beautiful on both sides, and fruit- 
ful in spiritual results not only to him and to them, 
but, we believe, to the Zulu people. The letters that 
passed between the missionary and the Dowager 
Countess and her family are fragrant with the spirit 
of St. John's epistles to Kyria and Gaius. In this 
chapter we have to do with them only in so far as they 
throw light on the origin of the Gordon Memorial 
Mission. Some dim glimpses of the exquisitely deli- 
cate relation between them may be seen by those who 
can read between the lines, in the " Sketches of the 
Life and Character of Lord Haddo, fifth Earl of 
Aberdeen, and of his Son, the Hon. J. H. H. Gordon,"* 
which Dr. Duff published in 18G8, under the principal 
title of The True Nobility. 

James Henry Hamilton Gordon, the second son of 
the fifth Earl of Aberdeen, won all hearts at school 
and at college by his fine courage, his pure life, his 
personal beauty and the manly unconsciousness in 
which his character was set. At eighteen, in the year 
18G3, he became a zealous Christian like his father. 
" Last New Year's Eve," he wrote to a friend, "I went 

* Published by the Religious Tract Society, in which Dr. Dun" showed 
a keen interest. 


to bed witli scarcely a thought about ray soul; but the 
very next day, by the grace of God, I was brought to 
know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge. 
Yes, the birthday of the year is the birthday of my 
soul. ,, First at St. Andrews, where Principal Shairp 
was drawn to him, and then in the larger world of 
Cambridge, he became the Lycidas of his fellows. The 
joy in the Holy Ghost made him the happiest among 
them. In 1867 he came out the second man in all the 
University. The youth whom every Sunday eveniug 
found in the Jesus' Lane school, and whose face was 
familiar at the University daily prayer-meeting, was 
also among the first in athletic sports, in sketching, 
in verse-writing, and in the debating society. He was 
captain of the University eight, and rowed No. 4 in 
the contest with Oxford. His inventive ambition 
showed itself in the construction of a breech-loader, 
which was to " beat all other possible breech-loaders 
in the rapidity of its fire. ,, Mr. Macgregor's expe- 
riences sent him, in the long vacation, canoeing from 
Dover through France to Genoa, and back through 
Germany to Rotterdam. On his return, after an hour 
on the Cam, he went to his room to dress for dinner, 
when that happened on the 12th February, 1868, 
which Dr. Duff thus records : While he was engaged 
with his rifle, it went off, causing almost immediate 
death. The next day he was to have rowed in the 
inter-university race. Instead of that both Oxford 
and Cambridge put the flags at the boat-houses half- 
mast high, and not a man was seen on either river. 
He whom an accident had thus suddenly removed had 
not long before written to a fellow-student who feared 
that to profess Christ would be to invite the taunt of 
being a hypocrite : "It is a happy thing to serve the 
Lord. Though we sometimes have to give up pleasure, 
we gain a great deal of happiness even in this world. 

44^ LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1874. 

Taiil suffered a great marry persecutions, yet he said, 
1 .Rejoice in the Lord alway ; and again I say, Rejoice.' " 
Young Gordon had felt another ambition. When 
only fourteen he declared he would be a missionary. 
When nineteen he repeated his determination, saying 
to his brother, who had returned from New Brunswick 
as sixth earl, and was telling him of the winter life of 
the lumberers in its forests : " What could be more de- 
lightful than to go from camp to camp, Bible in hand, 
and share the life of those fine fellows, while trying to 
win them to Christ!" But he added, with characteris- 
tic self -suspicion, that his love of adventure might 
have much to do with the desire. As time went on, 
however, he thought of studying for the ministry with 
this end. When, at the close of 1864, the Cape Govern- 
ment were offering for sale grants of land in Transkei 
Kaffraria, he leaped at the suggestion that when he 
came of age he might settle down as an ordained 
captain of civilization on a Kaffir reserve. " I shall 
endeavour to follow the leading of my conscience and 
the guidance of God in making my decision on this 
matter," was the entry in his private diary. Truly, as 
Dr. Duff wrote, what might not such a Christian 
athlete, " the grandson of the great chief who once 
wielded the destinies of the British empire," have become 
among a people of noble impulses and self-forgetting 
courage like the Kaffirs ? What sudden death prevented 
him from doing, his sorrowing family enabled Dr. Duff 
to begin as a sacred duty. His elder brother, the 
sixth earl, having sought health in a warm climate 
and to gratify his love of adventure, was accidentally 
drowned on a voyage from Boston to Melbourne, as 
first mate of the ship Hero. The third and only sur- 
viving brother succeeded to the peerage in 1870. 
Accordingly there was drawn up a deed, unique in 
the history of Missions, since the Haldanes sold their 


estates the preamble of which tells, formally but 
toucliingly, its own story.* 

The Rev. J. Dalzell, M.B. a medical missionary and 
his wife, the daughter of Dl\ Lorimer, of Glasgow, were 
sent out to select a site ; a teacher and two artisans 
followed, and by 1874 the Gordon Memorial Mission 
was established within a few miles of the frontier of 
Zululand. This letter may be here given, referring 
to the career of him whose truly chief-like character 
will surely yet become a stimulus to the thirteen feuda- 
tories of Zululand and the people. 

" Scarborough, 9th Sept., 1868. 

" Dear Lady Aberdeen, — Your letter, dated the 5th, 
I have read with a feeling of profound and thrilling 
interest. Lord Polwarth very kindly favoured me 

* We, the Right Honourable Mary, Countess of Aberdeen ; 
George, Earl of Aberdeen; Mary Lady Polwarth; Walter Lord. 
Polwarth; the Honourable John Campbell Gordon; the Lady 
Harriet Gordon ; and the Lady Catherine Elizabeth Gordon ; con- 
sidering that we are desirous of founding a mission to the heathen 
in South Africa in memory of a beloved member of our family, tho 
Honourable James Henry Gordon, who died on the twelfth day of 
February, eighteen hand red and sixty-eight, and for this purpose 
have resolved to set apart a sum of money, the interest of which 
will be sufficient to yield the salary of an ordained missionary and 
to defray other expenses, also to provide the funds required to build 
a suitable house for the residence of such missionary, and consider- 
ing that it will be most advantageous that such mission and mis- 
sionary should be in connection with and under the responsible 
management of an existing mission by a Christian Church, and that 
the Foreign Missions Committee of the Free Church of Scotland have 
had for many years a mission to the natives in Kaffraria, and are 
proposing to extend it by erecting one or more stations in the ter- 
ritory to the north and east of the river Kei : therefore we have 
paid to the Rev Alexander Dnff, Doctor of Divinity, for behoof of 
the said Foreign Missions Committee, should they accept of this 
present trust, the sum of six thousand pounds, to be by them per- 
manently invested according to their rules and practice, and we now 
hereby declare that the said sum is to be held in trust always for 
the purposes and subject to the conditions following ; viz., First, 
The Memorial Mission Station shall be in the Transkei territory, or 
some part of Kaffraria, and shall be named " Gordon," etc., etc. 


45° LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1S61. 

with the leading facts in the life of the dear departed 
one. He has also favoured me with the narrative 
of the Canoe Voyage, than which I scarcely remember 
having ever read anything more stirring. It reached 
me on the evening of a day. I at once opened it, to 
take a dip into it, intending to reserve the more care- 
ful perusal of it till the next day. But it soon so 
riveted me that I could not stop till I got to the 
very close. When done with it, I felt, well, had it 
pleased the Lord to spare his life, and send him to 
Kaffirland, with such athletic powers and fertility 
of resource, the Kaffirs would be impelled to make 
him their king, while he would bring them to the 
King of kings ! But, to the Omniscient, it ap- 
peared good to ordain it otherwise. But it makes one 
feel all the more strongly that there is a singular 
appropriateness in the blessed mode which has been 
fixed on for perpetuating his memory here below." 

When, in May, 1856, Dr. Livingstone completed the 
second of his expeditions from the Cape to St. Paul 
de Loanda, on the west coast of Africa, and thence 
right across the continent to the Quilimane approach to 
the Zambesi, he used this language : " We ought to 
encourage the Africans to cultivate for our markets, as 
the most effectual means, next to the gospel, of their 
elevation. It is in the hope of working out this idea 
that I propose the formation of stations on the Zam- 
besi beyond the Portuguese territory, but having 
communication through it with the coast. The Lon- 
don Missionary Society has resolved to have a station 
among the Makololo, on the north bank, and another 
on the south among the Matabele. The Church, 
Wesleyan, Baptist, and that most energetic body, the 
Free Church, could each find desirable locations." 
The Universities Mission, which he induced Oxford 
and Cambridge to send out, met with such losses, while 


he himself buried his wife a hundred miles up the 
Zambesi from the sea, that the other Churches de- 
layed action. But the Rev. Dr. Stewart, of Lovedale, 
when he had hardly ceased to be a divinity student, 
was encouraged by some Scottish friends to join 
Dr. Livingstone in his next expedition. On the 16th 
September, 1859, the great Christian explorer re- 
vealed the waters of Lake Nyassa for the first time 
to Europe and America. There, 1,522 feet above the 
sea, the overjoyed missionary beheld the fresh- water 
sea stretching, as it proved, 350 miles to the north, 
towards Tanganika, the two Nyanzas and the Nile, 
with an average breadth of twenty-six miles, and 
a depth of more than one hundred fathoms. A se- 
cond time, in 1861, he returned to its southern end, 
with his brother and Dr. Kirk, only to have his con- 
viction strengthened that here was the centre whence 
the great Light should shine forth upon the peoples 
of Central Africa. Filled with this thought he ad- 
dressed these letters to the successive conveners of 
the Free Church Foreign Missions Committee in 
Edinburgh, before Dr. Duff's return from India and 
from his tour of inspection in South Africa. 

« River Shire, 2nd Nov., 1861. 

(Private.) " My Dear Dr. Tweedie, — On returning from the 
Rovuma I had nothing to say about it as anew missionary field, 
and therefore no heart to write at all. I indulged the hope also 
that information such as you desire might soon be obtained by 
looking down that river from Lake Nyassa, from the attempt to 
do which we are now returning. We left the Pioneer in 
August last, and in three weeks carried a boat past Murchison's 
cataracts. When we embarked on the Upper Shire we were 
virtually on the lake, though still about sixty miles from Nyassa, 
as that part of the river is all smooth and deep. The lake proper 
is over 200 miles in length, from twenty to sixty miles wide, 
and very deep. It lies on one meridian of longitude, and gives 

45 2 LIFE OF DE. DUFF. 1861. 

access to a very large tract of slave-producing country. Our 
mission has a special reference to this gigantic evil; but 
without the co-operation of such missions as your Church con- 
templates ours must prove a failure. You must then take it 
for granted that my information may be tinged by my great 
anxiety for the establishment of Christian Missions, and en- 
deavour to form a calm and dispassionate judgment for your- 

" We entered Lake Nyassa in the beginning of September 
and during the prevalence of the equinoctial gales. We be- 
lieve that we felt bottom in one of the bays in the north at 600 
feet. As in all narrow deep seas surrounded by mountains, 
tremendous seas get up in about twenty minutes. In many 
gales we witnessed no open boat could live. We were obliged 
to beach our boat every night, and sometimes sat for days 
together waiting for the storm to cease ; on this account we 
could not accomplish all we intended in the way of exploration. 
We followed the western shore, and received nothing but the 
most contradictory reports about Rovuma. One asserted that 
we could sail out of the lake into the river ; another, that we 
must lift the boat a few yards ; another, fifty miles or a month. 
We durst not cross the frequently raging sea to ascertain for 
ourselves. There was a thick haze in the air all around, and 
it was only by sketches and bearings as the sun rose behind 
mountains that we were enabled at different latitudes to 
measure the width. Our information is therefore unsatis- 
factoiy. But leaving the physical geography till we get more 
light, we turn to the population. That is prodigious : no part 
of Africa I have seen so teems with people as the shores 
of Lake Nyassa. This may have been the fishing season, for 
all were engaged in catching fish with nets, creels, hooks or 
poison ; when the rains call them off to agriculture they may 
be much fewer in number. In some cases disturbances in their 
own countries had caused an influx of population to these sea- 
coasts. As we saw them their numbers excited our constant 
wonder, and we appeared to be great curiosities to them. 
They were upon the whole civil, and seldom went the length 
of lifting up the edge of the sail which we used as a tent, as 
boys do to see the beasts of a travelling menagerie ; no fines 
were levied nor dues demanded. When about half-way up the 
lake an Arab dhow lately built fled away to the eastern shore 


when we came near ; she did the same on our return south : 
their trade is in slaves. When we came within the sphere of 
this vessel's operation the people became worse. They crept up 
to our sleeping places at that hour of the morning when deep 
sleep falleth upon man, and ran off with what they could lay their 
hauds on. It was the first time we had been robbed in Africa. 
We had a few Makololo with us who had been reared among 
the black races and imbibed all their vices; their cowardly 
and bad conduct increased any difficulty we had. The slave 
traders seem to have purchased all the food, and when we got 
beyond their beat we came to the borders of a tribe of Zulus, 
called Mavite, from the south ; and this presented a scene of 
great desolation, nothing was to be seen but human skeletons 
or putrid bodies of the slain. We had a land party in case 
of any accident to the boat. They were terrified at the idea of 
meeting the inflicters of the terrible vengeance of which the 
evidence everywhere met the eye, without a European in their 
company ; so I left the boat, and by some mistake was separated 
from it for three and a quarter days. We met seven Mavite 
or Zulus, and when I went to them unarmed, they were as 
much frightened of me as the men were of them. They rattled 
their spears on their shields, and seeing that had no effect, 
refused to take me either to the boat or to their chief, and 
then sped up the hills as we may suppose seven Scotch gomer- 
als would do after they had seen a ghost. Want of food 
compelled us to- turn after ascertaining that the lake reaches 
the southern borders of the tenth degree of south latitude. 

" We found a chief called Marenga about 11° 44' S., a very 
fine fellow. He laded us with all the different kinds of food 
he possessed. He seemed an eligible man for missionaries to 
settle with, but very probably there are fine situations and 
people on the adjacent highlands which we could not explore. 
Nyassa is surrounded with mountains and elevated plateaux 
like that on which Bishop Mackenzie is located. Now we 
have already a pathway to the lake with but thirty-five or 
forty miles of land carriage. We have had no difficulties with 
the Portuguese as yet. When we took Bishop Mackenzie up 
to the highlands east of the cataracts, we discovered that the 
Portuguese had instituted an extensive system of slave-hunt- 
ing in the very country to which we had brought him. They 
had induced a marauding party of Ajawa to attack village after 

454 LIFE OP DR. DUFF. 1861. 

village of Manganja, kill the men and sell the women and 
children to them. The first party we met had eighty-four cap- 
tives. The adventurers fled and left the whole on my hand, so 
I gave them over to the Bishop to begin school with ; other 
Portuguese companies were found, and about one hundred and 
forty handed over to the Bishop's mission. Unfortunately the 
Manganja are as ready to sell people as the Ajawa, but at this 
time the Manganja were all fleeing before the employes of the 
Portuguese. Believing that the effusion of blood might be 
stopped, and also the slaving, as they received but five yards 
of calico for the best captives — value out here, two shillings and 
sixpence — and only a shilling's worth for a woman, we went to 
hold a parley with the Ajavva. We came upon them in a moment 
of victory : they were in the act of burning three villages, and 
some Manganja followers spoiled all our protestations of peace 
by calling out that one of their great generals and sorcerers 
had come. They rushed on us like furies, poured poisoned 
arrows among our small company at fifty paces distance 
from every point, and compelled us to act in the defensive. 
The Portuguese are at the bottom of the whole affair, and they 
seem to gather new vigour in their inveterate slaving by follow- 
ing in our footsteps. Had we been all cut off, the loss of 
mission and expedition would have been entirely attributable 
to them. I was unarmed, and the men had but a few rounds of 
ammunition when this slave trade episode occurred. 

" With regard to Government protection, none would be 
promised. Every member of the Government would indi- 
vidually be glad to hear of the extension of Christianity, and it 
would gratify them to find that officers, without detriment to 
their own service, had assisted missionaries ; but as a Govern- 
ment they could not come under any formal obligation to 
protect British subjects in distant and uncivilized countries. 
This is my private opinion only. The Bishop here is not, so 
far as I can learn, a recognised dignitary in the eyes of the 
Government. I render every assistance I can, and would do 
the same to the missionaries of any other body, but I have no 
orders so to do. Some instructions in favour of giving the 
Bishop's party a passage were, I believe, sent to the Admiral; 
but you could not depend on the same unless Lord Panmure 
were in office again. A mission to be effective must h&ye a 
steamer of its own, and made capable of being unscrewed at 


the bottom of the cataracts and carried past them in Scotch 
carts. This would be the least arduous part of the undertak- 
ing. Don't imagine that a mission right in the slave market 
will allow much sailing about your studies in flowing dressing 
gowns and slippers. A great difficulty is the different way 
in which missionaries look at the work when at home and 
when they come actually to soil their hands. You could manpge 
all about the steamer with ease ; some of your own people would 
do the thing better than any government contractor. The 
Burnses of Glasgow, younger and elder, offered to do anything 
in their line for me : I hereby make over all my interest in their 
offer, and I am sure they meant what they said. 

The Bishop has the best place in the country for a mission — 
cool, airy and abounding in flowing streams of deliciously cool 
water. At one time I feared that another mission might be 
deemed an intrusion, as time has not yet diluted the home 
prejudices ; but any one seeing the prodigious population on the 
lake must confess that there is more work there than can be 
reached by one body of Christians, however powerful or wealthy. 
Very likely as soon as we get our little steamer on the lake we 
shall be able to speak more positively about a healthy residence. 
At present the slave trade meets us everywhere ; the people 
are clothed with the inner bark of trees, and calico is so valu- 
able that it decides the only trade now in existence. We 
hope to alter this by buying their cotton, but the most effectual 
means of eradicating the trade entirely is the introduction of 

" (Private and confidential?) The country between Cape 
Delgado and Delagoa Bay was committed to the Portuguese 
by the slave-trade treaties on the understanding that they 
would put down slave-trading therein. Instead of this they 
have uniformly acted on the principle of converting the terri- 
tory aforesaid into a private slave f preserve/ Their claims of 
sovereignty rest on the treaty which they have so shamefully 
misread. The governorships, with a mere nominal salary, are 
the rewards which the court of Lisbon distributes to its 
favourites. Hence the King of Portugal must know that he 
directly perpetuates slavery and slave-trading by making the 
emoluments arising therefrom the chief part of the dole which 
he deals out. They have no more right to keep out other nations 
from lawful commerce than England has to keep traders out of 

456 LIFE OF DR. DUfJP. 1862. 

China. Each nation possesses a few forts on the coast of a 
continent. Yet a ship was seized belonging to Mr. Sunley, 
H.M. Consul at the Comoro Islands, and sold by the Portu- 
guese because he attempted to establish lawful trade in the 
Angoshe River where a Portuguese dare not enter. I mention 
these things in the hope that some of your friends of the 
public press may take notice of them and render aid in opening 
the country. The Bishop informs me that when Prince Albert 
was applied to in order to lend his name as ' Patron ' of the 
Oxford and Cambridge Mission he declined, on the ground that 
* Dr. Livingstone's expedition might compromise the rights 
of the Portuguese crown/ It is understood that he is the 
chief stickler for the Portuguese pretensions, and unless power- 
ful public opinion be brought to bear on the Government, these 
pretensions will be urged as successfully as they were in the 
case of Mr. Sunley's ship and the trading station Amberiz on 
the West Coast. Believe me, affectionately yours, 

u David Livingstone. 

" Nov. 18th — Since writing the foregoing we have seen the 
Bishop, and find that, disregarding my advice to keep to his 
own place and act simply on the defensive, he has been induced 
to go and attack the Ajawa twice. I hoped that the Ajavva 
might become friends with the English after they understood 
the objects of our coming, when they refused all negotiation 
and attacked us, but this will make them, I fear, enemies of the 
English. In speaking of the view that would be entertained 
of this at home, the Bishop and I have totally different antici- 
pations. It is probable that his views and those of a rathei 
hot-headed missionary who figured at Bryan King's, in St. 
George's in the East, will be given in a high church paper 
called the Guardian. Your young friend will think our 
horizon rather cloudy, but it is well if he understands the 
whole of our affairs though written in a way that will not bear 
publication. I shall be thankful if you favour me with the 
judgment you have formed. 

" March Id, 1862. — We have no daily post here. I have 
shown this to Mr. Stewart who is now with us ; and I would add 
that my remarks are framed to meet the eyes of the ordinary 
run of missionaries, and perhaps to screen myself from blame 
if such men should come out ; but for such as a man as Mr. 


Stewart I would say there are no very serious obstacles in the 
way. I would not hesitate to commence a mission myself, but 
Mr, Stewart, will give you his own impressions when he has 
seen all with his own eyes. If you get many of as long tangled 
epistles as this from the mission field I pity you. 

" David Livingstone." 

" Shupanga, Zambesi, 12th March, 1862. 

"Rev. Dr. Candlish. 

" My Dear Sir, — I am happy to inform you that Mr. Stewart 
arrived off the mouth of this river on the last day of January, 
and as it appeared that the most satisfactory way of going to 
work would be for him to come and see the country and people 
with his own eyes, I invited him to accompany us while trying 
to take a steauier up to Lake Nyassa. By the kind assistance 
of Captain Wilson, of H.M.S. Gorgon, we soon had most of the 
hull aboard the Pioneer, but soon found out that she could 
not carry thirty-five tons of her sister, so we are forced to put 
the lake steamer together here, and then tow her up to the 
cataracts. We did not anticipate this detention of two months. 
Mr. Stewart will however be employed in picking up what he 
can of the language, and supposing him to be successful in his 
noble purpose of organizing a mission, this will prove no loss 
of time. The language is unreduced, and if you have never 
tried to write down the gibberish that seems to be bluttered 
out of the people's mouths, you will scarcely believe that the 
reduction of a language is such a gigantic task as it is. The 
tongue is spoken at Senna and Tette on the Zambesi, and up 
to the end of Lake Nyassa, 400 miles to the north. The Bishop 
Mackenzie is working at it, but years must elapse before it 
can become a proper or copious vehicle of religious thought. 

" I have given Mr. Stewart a cordial and hearty welcome, and 
rejoice in the prospect of another mission where there is so 
very much room for work. Nineteen thousand slaves pass 
annually through the custom-house of Zanzibar, and according 
to Colonel Rigby, H.M. Consul there, the chief portion of them 
comes from Lake Nyassa. We hope to do something towards 
stopping this traffic, but it is only by Christian missions and 
example that the evil can be thoroughly rooted out. From all 
I have observed of Mr. Stewart he seems to have been specially 
raised up for the work, and specially well adapted for it. Be- 

458 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1875. 

fore becoming acquainted with him I spoke cautiously, perhaps 
gave too -much prominence to difficulties of which I myself 
make small account, and may have been led to it by having 
seen missionaries come out with curious notions, willing to 
endure hardships, but grumbling like mountains in labour 
when put about by things that they did not expect ; but to 
such a man I would say boldly, Go forward, and with the 
Divine blessing you will surely succeed. I am, etc., 

" David Livingstone. 

" Though I had not the pleasure of meeting you at Dr. 
Buchanan's I met your daughters there, and beg to present 
kind salutations. 

"Ihth Alarch. — TKe Bishop Mackenzie and Rev. H. Burrup 
died in January and February. Came down to meet us in a 
canoe which was overturned, clothes and medicines lost; fever 
and diarrhoea proved fatal — a sad blow ; but whatever effect it 
may have at home, not one hair's-breadth will I swerve from 
my work." 

Dr. Stewart returned to Scotland to urge the pro- 
posal that his Church should found a mission settle- 
ment on Cape Maclear, the promontory at the south end 
of the lake to be called by Livingstone's name. Dr. 
Livingstone himself, during his two subsequent visits 
to Bombay, took Dr. Wilson, the Free Church mission- 
ary there, into his counsels, and the public of Western 
India supplied him with funds for the last expedition. 
His death, in April, 1873, on his knees in prayer amid 
the swamps of Ilala, gave to the Free Church a new 
motive for at once carrying out the trust which he 
laid upon it. Dr. Duff had sent out Dr. Stewart 
to Lovedale, after the disasters of the Universities 
Mission, to be ready from that base to advance to 
Nyassa. Sir Bartle Frere had returned from his 
mission to the slave-trading Muhammadan powers 
along the littoral of the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf 
and the Indian Ocean, which Dr. Kirk's treaty with 


the Sultan of Zanzibar happily completed, leaving the 
worst offenders, Turkey and Egypt, alone to be dealt 
with directly by the Foreign Office. After conferences 
with him in Edinburgh and Glasgow in 1874 Dr. Duff 
and James Stevenson, Esq., of Glasgow, launched 
the Livingst.onia Mission, the greatest national enter- 
prise, it has been truly said, since Scotland sent forth 
the very different Darien expedition. In the new 
responsibilities and burdens which this added to the 
last five years of his life, he was assisted by Dr. M. 
Mitchell, as the official secretary of the committee. 

All the churches and cities of Scotland, but especially 
the Reformed and United Presbyterian Churches and 
the merchant princes of Glasgow, gathered round 
Dr. Duff. At the request of the Established Church 
co-operating with it in Africa as in India, he gave 
it the most brotherly facilities for founding a station, 
called Blantyre, on the healthy heights just above 
the Murchison cataracts of the Shire. In the absence 
of Dr. Stewart, Mr. Young, R.N., who had satisfac- 
torily led the " Livingstone Search Expedition," was 
lent by the Admiralty to command that organized 
to found Livingstonia. The first large party of 
Scottish missionaries and artisans left the London 
docks in May, 1875. Dr. Goold tells us how Dr. Duff 
led the devotions of the departing evangelists with 
such fervent absorption and earnest supplication, all 
heedless of the last warning bell, that the steamer was 
already on its way down the Thames before he could 
be got on shore. It was on the 12th of October, just 
eight years after Livingstone's discovery of it, that 
Nyassa's waters burst on the view of the delighted 
missionaries, as the sun rose over the high eastern 
range and bathed in the light that symbolized a better 
Sun the seven hundred miles of coast then desolated 
by the slave-trade and demon-worship. Writing of 

460 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1877. 

morning worship that day, the Rev. R. Laws, M.B., 
now head of the Mission, remarked, " The hundredth 
psalm seemed to have anew beauty and depth of mean- 
ing as its notes floated over the blue waves." 

Next year a second party went out with reinforce- 
ments under the Rev. Dr. Black, as yet the only and 
the ever to be lamented victim in this Mission to the 
climate of tropical Africa. Dr. Stewart took com- 
mand at the lake, and circumnavigated it for the 
second time, with the object of finding a sanitarium 
at its northern end, and completing our geographical 
knowledge of its. coasts and the country which it 
drains.* Not only at Livingstonia but in Marenga's 
country on the west coast, and on Kaningina table- 
land in the interior, hundreds of natives have come 
under our protection and Christian instruction. Dr. 
Stewart has assisted in similar good work at Blantyre. 
The Chinyanja speech of the western Kaffirs has been 
reduced to writing, a grammar and vocabulary have 
been formed, and portions of St. John's Gospel and 
hymns have been translated into it, being printed by 
the Kaffir compositors at Lovedale. The machinery 
has been completed by a medical mission for the 
women, under Miss Waters ton, L.M., with Kaffir sub- 
ordinates from Lovedale. The Mission has been 
relieved of the purely commercial concerns by some of 
its Glasgow founders, who have formed a Central 
Africa Trading Company, and have made several 
miles of a road from Kilwa towards the northern end 
of the lake, towards which the Royal Geographical 
Society's Expedition also is working. From Lovedale 
to the Nile, as will be seen in the map, the four missions 
of the Free Church, the London Society, the Church 
Society and the Universities have taken possession of 

* Proceedings of the Eoyal Geographical Society, 10th March, 1879. 


Africa for Christ. On the west the Baptist Society 
are pushing towards them up the Kongo. Aided by 
a bequest of a million of dollars the American Board 
of Missions, which has done much already in Natal, is 
about to join the noble army from St. Paul de Loanda. 
Meanwhile, the easiest access to the heart of Africa is 
by the Free Church route, by the little Lady Nyassa 
up the Zambesi and Shire to the cataracts, by a road 
of seventy miles round these, cut by the Livingstone 
and Blantyre Missions, and by the Bala, a fine sea 
steamer of forty-horse power, right up to the Bom- 
bashe, or northern end of Lake Nyassa. Dr. Duff's 
official and private correspondence with all concerned, 
and especially with Dr. Stewart, marks a breadth of 
Christian statesmanship and administrative foresight 
which his whole Indian and African experience from 
1830 would lead us to expect. Let this heroic sen- 
tence suffice, written from Guernsey as his last illness 
was creeping upon him, to Dr. Stewart on the 25th 
July, 1877 : " Livingstonia is virtually your own mis- 
sion, and, humanly speaking, the success of the future 
will depend much, under God, on the wisdom with 
which the foundations are now solidly laid. I wish I 
could join you for a year, if it were only to cheer by 
sympathy and hearty earnestness in seeing the outward 
prosperity of the work." 

Dr. Duff had a keen eye and a reverent regard for 
" providences," alike in his own life and in the history 
of the Church and the world. But even he never 
knew that the last new mission which he was called on 
to superintend, in the closing years of his life, owed its 
existence to himself. When the old Cameronians, the 
venerable Reformed Presbyterian Church, united with 
the Free Church of Scotland in 1876, it brought under 
the joint management of the Foreign Missions com- 
mittee a portion of the Mission in the Melanesian 

462 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1877. 

group of the New Hebrides. When, in 1837, Dr. Duff 
was addressing the members of the Church of Scot- 
land at Stranraer, he little thought that a Cameronian 
minister was listening to him whom he was uncon- 
sciously stirring up to found that mission to the can- 
nibals of the South Pacific. The Rev. A. M. Syming- 
ton, of Birkenhead, has lately published this extract 
from the diary of his father, Dr. William Symington : 

October 27th, 1837. — "Had this day the unspeakable satis- 
faction and delight of hearing Dr. DuiT advocate the General 
Assembly's scheme for christianizing India. His statements 
are clear, his reasoning sound, and his eloquence surpassing 
anything I ever heard. Notwithstanding a weak frame and a 
bad voice, his appeals are most impassioned and thrilling. He 
touches the springs of emotion, lays down the path of duty 
with unceremonious fidelity, and rebukes the apathy and nig- 
gardliness of professing Christians with fearless independence. 
I reckon it a great privilege to have heard and met with this 
great and good man. May it be blessed for increasing my 
zeal for the conversion of the heathen. 

January 12th, 1838. — "Being old New Year's Day, which 
is foolishly observed as an idle day in this quarter, I called 
together the youth of the congregation, read some missionary 
intelligence, and delivered an address on the obligation of 
Christians to diffuse the gospel among the heathen. After- 
wards a juvenile association for missionary purposes was 
formed. Nearly sixty appended their names, and about £10 
was subscribed on the spot. May this be the commencement 
of a mission to the heathen from the Reformed Presbyterian 
Church in Scotland." 

The whole group of forty islands, with a population 
of a hundred thousand, is evangelized by five Presby- 
terian Churches, whose children maintain a missionary 
ship, The Day spring, to keep up communication among 
the stations, and with Sydney as their base fourteen 
hundred miles to the south-west. Of the twelve 
missionaries four are sent forth by the Free Church to 


Aneityum and Aniwa, now wholly christianized, Ipare 
and Futuna. In the century that has passed since 
Captain Cook discovered those paradises of the Pacific, 
even in the half-century since their cannibals murdered 
John Williams on Eromanga and some of his suc- 
cessors, both Melanesians and Polynesians have been 
formed into Christian churches so vigorous that Dr. 
Duff lived long enough to learn how the once cannibal 
Aneityumese were paying £700 for an edition of the 
whole Bible in their own language. Thus all through 
his career, from first to last, his influence overflowed 
to other Churches, and the fruit returned to himself in 
a way rarely seen in the kingdom one law of which 
is thus expressed, " Ye have laboured, and others have 
entered into your labours." 

When, in 1878, the forty-ninth year of the Mission 
which he had founded and extended closed with his 
own life, introducing the time of jubilee in the Jewish 
sense, what did Dr. Duff see ? Apart from the missions 
he had given to the Established Church of Scotland, 
and the missionaries, European, American and Asiatic 
he had influenced or trained for other Churches, we 
may thus coldly sum up results which in all their 
spiritual consequences and even historical ramifications 
no mere biographer can attempt to estimate. The one 
boy-missionary ordained by Chalmers, and sent forth 
by Inglis, in 1829, is represented by a staff of 115 
Scottish and 44 Hindoo, Parsee and Kaffir missionaries 
in the half- century. Of these nearly half have passed 
to their eternal rest, leaving at present 38 Scottish 
and 18 native ministers ordained or licensed to preach 
the gospel, after a careful literary and theological 
education, besides five medical missionaries — one a 
lady — eleven lay professors and evangelists and several 
students of divinity. The two primary English schools 
of 1830 at Calcutta and Bombay have become 210 

464 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1878. 

colleges and schools in which, every year, more than 
15,000 youths of both sexes receive daily instruction 
in the Word of God underlying, saturating, conse- 
crating all other knowledge. English has become the 
common language of hundreds of thousands of the 
educated natives of India and Africa. But a pure and 
Christian literature has been created in their many 
vernaculars and even classical tongues, based on and 
applying the translated Bible. The Free Church con- 
verts alone have numbered 6,458 adults, who, from 
almost every false creed, impure cult and debasing 
social system in the East and the South, have sat 
down in the kingdom, many through much tribu- 
lation of which Christendom, as it at present is, 
has no experience. These with their families have 
not only created Christian communities which sweeten 
the society around them and are thus used gradually 
to leaven its whole lump, but they form twenty-eight 
congregations which, after many members have passed 
away to their eternal reward, number 3,500 communi- 
cants, 4,100 baptized adherents, and 800 catechumens, 
all under ministers of their own race. In 1878 they 
subscribed £750 to evangelize their countrymen, though 
themselves poor after much self-sacrifice. No mission 
can show so many converts, or nearly so many native 
missionaries, gathered from the ranks of educated 
Hindooism and used to break down the mighty mass 
of Brahmanism, as the India Mission of Dr. Duff, who 
was ever ready to abase himself while magnifying 
his office and defending his method. Each reader 
may judge for himself what share that method has 
had in all that makes the India of 1878 differ from 
that of 1829 especially in the significant fact that 
in that period the Protestant Christians cf India 
have increased from twenty-seven thousand to half a 




As a Friend. — -Mrs. Duff. — Dr. Duff on her Death. — Mourning of 
the Bengalee Converts. — Solitude Thenceforth. — His Favourite 
Authors, Literary and Theological. — Hooker and Scott the 
Commentator. — On Anglo-Indian Partings. — College Work. — At 
Auchendennan on Loch Lomond. — At Patterdale on Ulleswater. 
— On Dr. Cotton and the Bishops of Calcutta. — To Sir Henry 
Durand and Lady Durand. — The Dowager Countess of Aber- 
deen. — Influence of Bengalee Converts on the Punjab. — Colonel 
Yule. — Sir Henry Maine. — Mr. John Marshman. — Dr. Moffat. — 
Free St. George's and Barclay Churches. — Archbishop of Canter- 
bury. — Miss Florence Nightingale. — Lord Shaftesbury. — Lord 
Halifax. — Dr. Duff's Unselfishness. 

Turning aside from the public conflicts and the 
official cares of the Missionary's life, let us rest awhile 
with him, so far as the stranger may do so, amid the 
sanctities of home and the intercourse of friendship. 
Of domestic joy and social delight he knew less than 
most public men, less even than most Anglo-Indian 
exiles, although his nature yearned for the one with 
a Celtic intensity, and was drawn out after the 
other with a chivalrous impulsiveness. In this he 
was like the first of missionaries, who in solitude 
turned from the scoffing philosophers of Athens to 
the seething mass of sinning idolaters in Corinth, 
determined not to know anything save Jesus Christ 
and Him crucified. Absorbed in daily and nightly 
toil after the highest quest and the divinest ideal, he 
could give to wife and child, friend and society, only 
the time which the exhausted body forced him to steal 

466 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1865. 

from incessant energising. What to most men forms 
the sum of life, was with him an accident in living. 
This and the method of his work, the exacting punctu- 
ality which marked all his duties, enabled him to live 
many lives, making his fine physique the ready slave 
of his impetuous spirit. 

Hence, as no one desired the solace of family and 
friends more, the fervour with which all his relations 
with those he loved were surcharged, and the fascina- 
tion which he exercised over the men and women whom 
he grappled to his soul. Hence, too, the comfort 
wherewith he could comfort the many strangers as well 
as friends who sought from him spiritual consolation 
or guidance. His face, his form, his bearing, the iron 
grasp and frequent shake of his hand, his sympathetic 
voice, his delicately suggested counsels or warmly 
urged advice, his emphatic rebuke or more enthusiastic 
approval, drew to him his equals, bound to him the 
converts, the students, the orientals whom he at the 
same time awed. His was a nature born to rule, 
while the grace of God humbled him into ruling by 
love. His will, directed by a desire loftier and a 
knowledge more complete than others possessed, some- 
times bore down opposition and silenced criticism. 
But he whose aim was equally lofty, and experience 
not very inferior, rejoiced in co-operation with a friend — 
even in working under a master — who never failed in 
anything he undertook for the Master of all. In spite 
of the parity of an ecclesiastical system which is 
strong by this very weakness, he and his many col- 
leagues in Calcutta, for thirty- three years, acted to- 
gether not only in unbroken harmony but in loving 
fellowship. Young theologians, frightened for a timo 
from the mission-field by misrepresentations of his 
masterfulness, were amazed to observe when they 
reached Calcutta the unselfish skill with which he 

^Et. 59. AS A HUSBAND. 467 

found out their specialities and encouraged their inde- 
pendent development. From John Macdonald in 1838 
to those sent out in 1862 this was the case. The commu- 
nion between Duff and Mackay, E wart and Dr. T. Smith 
was perfect, because they were all in different ways 
worthy of each other. So it was in the wider bonds 
of friendship with the best men of his generation both 
in India and in the "West. Like drew to like all through 
his life, from the students' benches at St. Andrews. 

Next to the life hid with Christ in God, Duff found 
his solace and his inspiration in his wife. From her 
quiet but unresting devotion to him, and his excessive 
reticence regarding his most sacred domestic feelings, 
many failed to appreciate the perfection of her service 
not merely to her husband but to the cause for which he 
sacrificed his whole self. The extracts which we have 
given from his letters during their frequent separations, 
reveal more than was apparent at the time, save to 
those who, like the earlier converts, were the inmates of 
the home in Cornwallis Square. But it was when the 
hour came for the missionary and his wife to part for 
ever here below that the value of Mrs. Duff to his work 
as well as to himself could be realized. He had been 
welcomed home in July, 1864, after the prolonged 
tour in South Africa, by her who had preceded him. 
He had, in the intervals of missionary ordinations, ad- 
dresses and visits, enjoyed the ineffable peace, to the 
Anglo-Indian, of rest and then activity in the society of 
wife and children, for six brief months. Then, after a 
brief illness, tenderly nursed by them and by the new- 
made widow of Dr. Mackay, Anne Scott Duff was 
taken away. To the son whom he had left behind him 
in India, that source of endless partings for the sake 
of noblest work, the widowed father wrote an epistle 
of heart-breaking yet triumphant words, from which 
we take these sacred extracts : 

463 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1865. 

"Edinburgh, 24th Feb., 1865. 
u I at once write the fulness of my own sorrow and yours, 
when I say that I am now writing as a wifeless husband 
to a motherless son; and at the same time the fulness of 
my joy and yours, when I say that, through faith in the 
atoning blood and righteousness of the Lamb of God for 
sinners slain, the most loving, lovable, and beloved of wives 
and mothers is now one of the bright spirits that shine 
in white array in the realms above, where there is no 
night of ignorance, or error, or wandering ; no more sorrow, 
or crying, or pain, or tears; no more curse of a condemning 
law ; no more death, because no more sin which is its sting : 
Christ the Lord having redeemed all His own from the curse 
of the law and enabled them to triumph gloriously over the 
last enemy here below. Praised be God then, there is no 
incompatibility between the fulness of natural sorrow and the 
fulness of gracious joy. God, the tender and compassionate 
God, has not forbidden us to sorrow over departed friends — ■ 
and least of all over the departure of one who has been the 
desire and the light of my eyes and a vitalizing element of my 
life. Oh, no ! only we are not to indulge in sorrow to excess, 
which would be to murmur against the dispensation of an all- 
wise, all-gracious Providence. The aged Abraham mourned 
and wept over the aged Sarah when numbered with the dead ; 
and then proved his strength of faith and character by forth- 
with proceeding to the discharge of needful duties. And if 
the very father of the faithful could thus mourn and weep 
over the remains of the partner of his life-long joys and sorrows, 
it cannot be unbecoming in me to do the same as a widowed 
husband over the remains of the most faithful and devoted 
partner of my life-long joys and sorrows in many climes and 
amid many eventful scenes. And true it is, that though 
endeavouring to restrain and control my feelings to the utmost 
before others, I have again and again found relief in a burst 
of tears, while in my solitary musings, — ah ! how solitary and 
lonely now ! — my eyes have become sore with weeping. And 
what I have yielded to myself, though I trust in God within 
the limits of undue excess, 1 cannot ask my darling not to 
yield to in due and allowable measure. For such yielding in 
due measure to the outbursting of natural sorrow is consecrated 
by a higher, nobler, grander example than even that of the 

JEt 59. ON HIS WIFE. 469 

father of the faithful, even the example of the eternal Son 
of God Himself, when incarnate as our Immanuel Kinsman- 
Redeemer — partaker of our essential humanity, but without 
its sin, which is not essential to it bat a vile superinduced 
excrescence upon it. Yes ! the most touching, the most affect- 
ing verse in the whole Bible, as an embodiment of the fulness 
and overflow of natural feeling, is the short solitary one, f Jesus 
wept/ wept at the tomb of His beloved friend, where others 
were weeping too, mingling His tears in sympathy with theirs 
— and that too at the very moment when He knew as no other 
one did or could that a marvellous resurrection work was to 
be by Himself achieved. 

" Heaven ought now to have new attractions for you and for 
us all ; for it is the region of unending day, of fulness of joy, 
of perpetual smiles, of everlasting rest, of ineffable glory. It 
is the place of gathering for all the ransomed of the Lord from 
righteous Abel downwards. Oh ! to see and converse with 
Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Peter, John and Paul, 
Luther, Calvin, Knox, with the noble army of faithful witnesses 
in every age and clime. And above all, to enjoy the beatific 
vision of the glorious Triune Jehovah, Father, Son and Holy 
Spirit ! These, these will be the primary attractions for all the 
redeemed. But among the secondary ones must be the meeting 
and the greeting of loved ones on earth in their glorified forms. 
In this sense it is that I have ventured to say that heaven itself 
has new attractions for you and me and the other members of 
our now desolated family. My own father and mother, saintly 
as they were on earth, were there before. Your little brother, 
who had c not sinned after the similitude of Adam's trangres- 
sion/ was there; your sister, dear little sweet gentle Annie, 
through grace, I trust was there. And now my faithful loving 
spouse — my other half, who sustained and cheered and com- 
forted me, and was herself not merely the light of my dwelling, 
but my very home itself; and your precious mother, who so 
fondly nursed and cherished you, ever ready to deny and sacri- 
fice herself if she could only minister to your comfort and joy 
and happiness — she too is gone. She is not, for God hath 
taken her, taken her to the temple above, to serve Him and 
enjoy Him for ever there. 

" It tended to soothe us exceedingly to find that during the 
last twelve hours, at least, she had no pain whatever, and that 

47° LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1865. 

life went gradually, gradually ebbing away, till she literally fell 
asleep in Jesus. As there was no pain you cannot imagine the 
singularly sweet, placid and tranquil expression of her coun- 
tenance even in the paleness of death. To us it was a heart- 
rending spectacle. . But our prayer was that the Lord might 
give us the spirit of simple, absolute resignation to His holy 
will. And our prayer has been wonderfully answered. What 
my own feelings are, I dare not venture to attempt to describe; 
nor would I if I could. They are known to the Searcher of 
hearts, and can only find relief in prayer. The union cemented 
by upwards of thirty- eight years of a strangely eventful life in 
many climes and amid many perils and trials and joys, so sud- 
denly, so abruptly brought to a final close in this world — oh ! 
it is agony to look at it in itself. But when I turn to the 
Saviour and the saintly one now in glory, I do see the dark 
cloud so lustred with the rainbow of hope and promise, that I 
cannot but mingle joy with my sorrow, and we can all unite in 
praising the Lord for His goodness, His marvellous loving- 
kindnesses towards us in our hour of sore trial. . " 

Those who, out of her own home, knew Mrs. Duff 
best, were the Bengalee Christians of Cornwallis 
Square. When the news of her removal reached them 
their sorrow found expression through their minister, 
the Rev. Lai Behari Day, from the pulpit of the mission 
church. The testimony has a meaning in this Bio- 
graphy, not only because it shows what' Christianity- 
makes a people of whom it has been most ignorantly 
said that their language has no word for gratitude. 
The passage vividly reflects the influence which Mrs. 
Duff exercised over the whole career of her husband. 
The preacher declared, as the result of his twenty-two 
years' experience since his baptism, that he had not 
seen "a more high-minded and pure-souled woman, of 
loftier character or greater kindliness." " Her distin- 
guished husband was engaged in a mighty work, and she 
rightly judged that, instead of striking out a path for 
herself of missionary usefulness, she would be doing 


"her duty best by upholding and strengthening him in 
his great undertaking. Mrs. Duff rightly judged that 
her proper province was to become a ministering 
angel to her husband who was labouring in the high 
places of the field, who had to sustain greater conflicts 
than most missionaries in the world, and who, there- 
fore, required more than most men the countenance, 
the attentions, the sympathy, and the consolations of a 
loving companion. And it is a happy circumstance 
for our Mission and for India at large that Mrs. Duff 
thus judged. The great success of the memorable 
father of our Mission is owing, under God, doubtless 
to his distinguished talents and fervent zeal ; but it is 
not too much to say that that success would have been 
considerably less than it has been had his hand not 
been strengthened and his heart sustained by the dili- 
gent and affectionate ministrations of his partner in 
life. I cannot refrain from expressing the deepest 
sympathy for the venerable patriarch of our Mission. 
The recollections of a long period of life spent together 
in the sweet interchange of kind offices must be deeply 
affecting. The angel of love who so long ministered 
to our revered spiritual father, and who was his 
companion and solace in these wilds of heathenism, 
upholding his arms in the time of conflict, comforting 
him in distress, watching over him in sickness, and 
ever pouring into his mind the balm of consolation, — 
that ministering angel has been removed from his side, 
and Dr. Duff has now, in the decline of his life, to pass 
the remainder of his days alone. What can we, his 
children on the banks of the Ganges, do further than 
express our profoundest sympathy with him, and 
commend him to the fatherly care of Him who is em- 
phatically the God of all comfort ?" 

Such sympathy following such experience went as 
far as human effort could go to heal the wound. Six 

47 2 LIFE OF DR. DUFF. 1870. 

years after, when we met him for the first time in the 
familiar drawing-room in Lauder Road, and admired 
the rich landscape of hill and dale as seen from the 
southern window, the old man burst into tears, for 
her favourite view recalled the tender days of old and 
all the Calcutta memories. 

Thenceforth Dr. Duff was emphatically alone, though 
ever cared for with filial devotion and friendly affection. 
His spiritual experience became still deeper, his power 
to comfort sufferers like himself more remarkable and 
more sought after. In all his correspondence to the 
close of his life, and in his personal intercourse with 
those he loved, there is now a touch of tenderness, 
ever before felt but now more freely expressed. As 
the tall figure began to stoop more visibly, and the 
expressive mouth came to be concealed nnder a still 
more eloquent beard of venerable whiteness, and the 
voice soon became wearied into an almost unearthly 
whispering, new love went forth to one whose chival- 
rous simplicity was daily more marked. The flash 
of the eye and the rapid remark told that there was no 
abatement of the intellectual force or the spiritual fire ; 
while the pen was never more ready for action in every 
good cause and for every old friend, especially in the 
cause he had made his own all through life. As grand- 
children climbed on bis knees, and grew up around 
him, at school and college, he renewed his youth. All 
children he delighted in ; with all he was a favourite. 
Few had such inner reasons as he to rejoice alway. 

The deepened solitude of his life after 1865, into 
which even the most loving and sympathetic could 
not penetrate, showed itself in a renewed study of the 
word of God and of those master-pieces of theological 
literature, practical and scientific, in which truly devout 
and cultured souls take refuge from the ecclesiastical 
as well as literary sensationalism of the day. He had 


always cultivated the highest of all the graces — the grace 
of meditation, which feeds the others. He increasingly 
loved to muse, shutting himself up for hours in his 
study, or retiring for weeks to a friendly retreat, now 
in the Scottish, now in the English lakes. He was 
catholic in his tastes, literary and theological. He had 
found a strong impulse in the works of Thomas Carlyle, 
as they appeared, declaring on one occasion to the 
writer that no living author had so stimulated him. 
He enjoyed the majestic roll and exquisite English of 
De Quincey's sentences, finding in him, moreover, a 
definiteness of faith and even dogmatic conviction as 
to the divine source of all duty and action which, like 
many admirers of Carlyle, he hungered for in the ori- 
ginal of " Sartor Resartus." Milton and Cowper were 
never long out of his hands. He was a rapid reader 
and a shrewd and genial critic of current literature. 
But he transmuted all, as the wisely earnest man will 
always do, into the gold of his own profession. The 
essayist and the poet, the historian and the politician, 
the philosopher and the theologian, while giving the 
purest pleasure and the best of all kinds of recreation 
at the time, became new material, literary, ethical and 
spiritual, for the one end of his life, the bringing of 
India and Africa into the kingdom of Christ. Let 
these two of his hundreds of letters to wife and 
children suffice to illustrate the higher uses of his 
solitude. The first was addressed to his daughter, 
the second to a daughter-in-law on the eve of one of 
those sore partings which are the lot of Anglo-Indians. 

"Oct. 9th, 1870. It is Sabbath evening. I am alone; and 
yet in a high and true sense, not alone — for, oh solemn truth ! 
God is here, here, to note the inmost thoughts, feelings and 
desires of the heart. And what weakness, imperfection, defile- 
ment must His pure and searching eye discern in them all ! 
What absolute need of the application of the blood that cleanseth 

474 L1FE 0F DR - CUFF. 1870. 

from all sin ! Here, too, to note the secret struggles, fears, 
hopes, joys of the soul, under fresh discoveries of its awful 
shortcomings, and yet fresh discoveries too of the unsearchable 
riches of God's forbearance, grace and love ! Though my 
thoughts daily resort to the members of my singularly scattered 
family, I have at times to-day been more than usually affected 
in thinking of them all. Shall we ever all meet here below 
again ? Grandfather (grandmother being privileged with 
visions of glory before us all), children and grandchildren ! 
Oh, it were to me a joyous and a happy spectacle, if it could 
be realized. But if not here below, in earth's changing 
climes, why not above ? Ah, would not the assured prospect 
of that be unspeakably more joyous and happy ! Then why 
not strive, through grace, to make it sure ? The invitation is 
to all — old and young — sheep -and lambs together. Why, 
then, not welcome it ? Why not joyfully respond to it ? Here 
it is compendiously expressed : ' The Spirit and the Bride say, 
Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that 
is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water 
of life freely/ Oh, then, let all parents come. And let them 
by faithful and assiduous instruction, godly consistent example, 
and fervent wrestlings in prayer, strive, through grace, to bring 
their children along with them into the fold of the Good Shep- 
herd here below, that all hereafter may be re-united in His 
kingdom of glory above, where they shall cease to suffer and 
to sin, but never cease to be happy, singing perpetual hal- 
lelujahs unto Him that sitteth upon the throne and to the 
Lamb ! Amen. Oh, that the purport of such a vision of glory- 
could be entertained hopefully by us all now ! How it would 
tend to cheer, revive and animate amid all the clouds and 
shadows, trials and perplexities, sorrows and anxieties of this 
strangely chequered probationary scene ! 

" What was chiefly in my mind when I began was this — 
the fearful blindness, ignorance and apathy which characterize 
our estate by nature, and which nature cannot apprehend or 
feel, so as even faintly to desire to get rid of them. I was 
particularly led to think of this subject to-day, from having 
taken up and read a small volume, which was much esteemed 
and read in my younger days, but which of late years has 
fallen entirely out of sight, amid the sensational trash and 
trumpery of an unspiritual, materialistic, degenerate age. I 


mean, Scott the Commentator's ' Force of Truth/ It is a short 
personal narrative of the author's state of mind and conscience, 
while unrenewed by grace, and of the remarkable series of 
steps and incidents by which at length he became ' a new 
creature in Christ Jesus '; and, as all the world has lo